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BV 2361 .L8 L9 1899 v. 2 
Lovett, Richard, 1851-1904 
The history of the London 
Missionary Society, 1795- 



..__ 1795-1895 





•^'«il#:% * 

Chaki.i-.s Mault 

John Hands 

A. Des Granges 





Mrs. Mault 


















I. India in 1795 

II. Nathaniel Forsyth and Robert May 

III. Pioneer Work in South India: 1804- 

IV. Pioneer Work in North India 

V. South Indian Missions : 1820-1S95 

VI. North India: 1825-1895 . 

VII. Medical Missions 

VIII. Work among Hindu Women . 

IX. The Native Church in India 

X. Christian Literature in India 

XL India in 1895 .... 







XII. The Mission to Tobago and Trinidad 

XIII. Pioneer Work in Demerara and Berbice 

XIV. Wray's Work in Berbice 
XV. The Demerara Martyr . 

XVI. Demerara and Berbice: 1825-1866 

XVII. Jamaica 

XVIII. The Change of Policy in 1867 



XIX. Robert Morrison : 1807-1834 .=199 

XX. The Ultra-Ganges Mission 429 

XXL China opened to the Gospel 44° 

XXIL Southern China: Hong Kong, Canton, and Amoy : 

1845-1895 451 



XXIII. Central China : Shanghai, Hankow, and Chung- 

king 508 

XXIV. Northern China: Tientsin and Peking . . . 543 

XXV. The Mongolian Mission 585 

XXVI. China in 1S95 616 


XXVII. Missions begun and i abandoned during the Cen- 
tury . 627 

HOME AFFAIRS: 1821-1895. 

XXVIII. Home Affairs: 1821-1870 642 

XXIX. Home Administration : 1870-1895 712 




A Complete List of the Missionaries of the London 
Missionary Society who have laboured in India, 
the West Indies, Ultra-Ganges, China, X^orth 
AND South America, and other Countries 

Plan and Constitution of the London Missionary 
Society, established in 1795 

Analysis of the Income and Expenditure of the 
London Missionary Society from 1796 to 1895 




Charles Mault; and Mrs. Mault . . . Frontispiece 

2. Henry Townley ; Micaiah Hill; Mrs. Mullens; 

William Buyers; and J. E. Payne . . To face p. 49 

3. Devadasen ; Benjamin Rice ; John Hay ; J. B. Coles ; 

AND Mrs. Porter To face p. 113 

4. James Gilmour; J. K. Mackenzie; John Wray; John 

Foreman; and James Smith . . . To face p. -^ii 

5. William Swan ; W. H. Medhurst ; Robert Morrison ; 

Dr. Legge ; AND William Lockhart . . To face p. 449 

6. William Orme ; John Arundel ; Thomas Wilson ; 

Arthur Tidman; and Joseph Mullens . To face p-b^^j 

7. R. Wardlaw Thompson ; Albert Spicer ; A. N. Johnson ; 

and George Cousins To face p. po 


!• I><^i-^ To face p. 33 

-• China ,.401 

3. China: The Amoy District ,,481 

4. Northern China Mission Stations ... „ 545 



' This is the \vo;d of the Lord unto Zeiubbabel, saying, Not by might nor 
by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. 

'Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become 
a plain.' — Zech. iv. 6, 7. 

' When in London Carey had asked John Newton, " What if the Company 
should send us home on our arrival in Bengal?" "Then conclude," was the 
reply, " that your Lord has nothing there for you to accomplish. But if He 
have, no power on earth can hinder you."' — Smith's Life of William Carey 

(1887), p. 55. 

' A Hindu may choose to have a faith and a creed, if he wants a creed, or to 
do without one. He may be an atheist, a deist, a monotheist, or a polytheist, 
a believer in the Vedas or Shastras, or a sceptic as regards their authority, and 
his position as a Hindu cannot be questioned by anybody because of his belief 
or unbelief, so long as he conforms to social rules.' — Guru Pkosad Sen. 

' It is not unreasonable to suppose that the last conquests of Christianity 
may be achieved with incomparably greater rapidity than has marked its earlier 
progress and signalized its first success ; and that in the instance of India " the 
ploughman may overtake the reaper, the treader of grapes him that soweth the 
seed," and the type of the prophet realized, that "a nation shall be born in 
a day."' — SiR J. E. Tennant's Christianity in Ceylon^ p. 327. 



In the last decade of the eighteenth century the vast 
majority of the inhabitants of Great Britain knew less 
about India than those of to-day know about Patagonia, 
and their interest in the welfare of its myriad peoples was 
slighter far than their knowledge of the country. The 
shareholders in the East India Company, and that limited 
section of the mercantile community which was awakening 
to the importance of India as a field for commercial and 
military enterprise, valued it as a means of rapid fortune- 
making. The only people who were beginning to devote 
serious and earnest attention to the nation's responsibilities 
in India were the despised evangelical section — voices crying 
in the wilderness — represented by such men as Carey and 
Bogue among the Nonconformists of England, and by men 
like Charles Grant of the East India Company. India 
then was more remote from the currents of common life and 
thought than Thibet is to-day. The fire of love to Christ, 
of faith in God, of quenchless desire to heal the sorrows of 
men, burning in humble yet consecrated hearts, supplied 
the motive power which has brought about the wonderful 
progress in India during the last century. 

To reach India in 1795 was a serious undertaking, 
involving a voyage of long and uncertain duration. So 
little was known of the country that when, in 1804, Cran 
and Des Granges were sent to South India, their instructions 
indicated that they were expected to superintend churches 
in Tinnevelly, and also initiate a mission among the 
Northern Circars ; that is, they were to carry on mission 

B % 

4 INDIA IN 1795 

work in two centres, differing in every possible respect, 
and separated by at least 500 miles ! And this ignorance 
is not marvellous when it is borne in mind that with all 
the information which has been circulated among missionary 
circles during the century, not one in ten of even the 
intelligent supporters of missionary enterprise can name 
the chief languages spoken in India, or indicate with any 
completeness the most powerful hindrances, due to native 
custom and thought, to the spread of the Gospel in the 
different parts of that vast land. 

India is really a continent; as large as Europe less half 
of European Russia, and more varied in its different 
portions than Europe itself. In 1795 the population was 
about 150,000,000, one-fifth of the whole human race. 
By these myriads at least thirteen distinct, historic, 
literary languages were spoken, and no less than 100 
minor languages and dialects are found in different parts. 
India, moreover, was the home of an ancient if simple 
civilization, the people were dominated by hoary and 
powerful religions, they were self-contained, self-satisfied, 
and conscious of no need of enlightenment such as 
Christianity brings, and in the world's history no enterprise 
has seemed so forlorn as Carey's when he sailed up the 
Hugli to ' attempt great things for God ' among the teeming 
millions of Bengal. 

Long years passed before the Church at home began 
to comprehend the mighty forces arrayed against the 
Gospel in India. Some of these sprung from the Hindus 
themselves, their manners, customs, laws, and beliefs ; 
while others were due also in no small degree to the East 
India Company. To realize what the task attempted by 
the Christian Church in India from 1792 to 1825 really was. 
it is needful to glance at these in turn. The Rev. E. P. 
Rice, B.A., of the London Mission, Bangalore, has very 
ably set forth the chief of these ^ : — 

' 1. First, there is the institution of caste, by which 
Hindu society is divided up into several thousands of 

' Primer of Modern Missions, p. 34. 


sections, between which all intermarriage and exchange 
of hospitality is forbidden by the heaviest penalties. 
It has really no parallel in any other nation, and is 
generally recognized to be a more formidable barrier than 
any usage Christianity in the whole course of its history 
has had to contend against. 

' 2. Connected with this is the absence of all religioiLs and 
social liberty, which makes the adoption of any other than 
the traditional customs the reason for relentless persecution 
by the whole community, and (until recently) for the 
forfeiture, not only of property, but of all civil and social 
and family privileges. 

' 3. The titterly perverted standard of conduct^ which places 
Custom in the room of Conscience, and above all the laws of 
the Decalogue, demanding external conformity, and caring 
little fof motive or character. There is no punishment 
in Hindu society for real wickedness, nor any encourage- 
ment for pure virtue. It lays supreme stress only upon 
such things as meats, and drinks, and sect-marks. 

' 4. The overweening arrogance and oppressive supremacy 
of the Brahman class, who by the gross abuse of their high 
intellectual gifts have made themselves to be regarded as 
" gods upon earth," moulded of superior clay to the rest 
of mankind, to whom all gifts are due by virtue of their 
mere birth, in whose interests all Hindu legislation has 
been made, and who have got into their hands all the 
positions of influence, and the control of all the wealth 
in the land, and who treat the remaining 95 per cent. 
of the population as if called into being solely for their 

' 5. The gigantic system of Polytheistic idolatry — strong 
chiefly on account of its enormous endowments, the 
number of persons who make their living by it, and its 
power of deadening the conscience ; a system which is 
served by a dissolute priesthood, popularized by festivals, 
processions, ritual, and legends ; and stained by licensed 
prostitution and other forms of immorality. 

' 6. The/^rtT of malignant demons (called euphemistically 

6 INDIA IN 1795 

in Government returns "Animism"), which forms the 
worship of wellnigh half the population, who present their 
bloody offerings to the spirits whom they suppose to be 
the authors of cholera, small-pox, and cattle disease. 

' 7. The belief in religions merit to be obtained by acts 
of idol-ritual, pilgrimages to supposed sacred spots, and 
bathing in supposed sacred waters, by self-mortification, 
by almsgiving, and by the service of the Brahmans. 

' 8. The seductive Pantheistic teaching, which wipes out 
the distinction between right and wrong, denies the 
authority of conscience, the personality of God and 
the responsibility of man, and makes universal apathy 
the highest ideal of life, utterly paralyzing the will for 
any good, divorcing morality from religion and conduct 
from conviction. 

' 9. The degradation of tvoman, who is decreed to be 
mistress of herself at no period from birth to death, 
and showing itself in infant marriages, the immolation or 
cruel treatment of widows, the seclusion of vast multitudes 
in the zenana, and the withholding from her of education. 

' \o. The sad and immemorial degradation of the low 
castes (Panchamas), numbering some 50,000,000, who are 
treated as the lepers and offscouring of the earth, whose 
touch is pollution, denied the right to live in the villages. 
to draw water from the wells, to attend the schools, and 
sometimes even the use of the public roads. 

'II. Add to these a whole jungle of superstitions beliefs 
and corrupt practices., whicli have been allowed to grow 
and multiply, rank and unchecked, for ages : astrology, 
belief in omens, obscene tantric rites, human sacrifices, 
Thuggism, infanticide, false-swearing, forgery, cunning 
exalted to the place of a virtue, policy to that of righteous- 
ness, unscrupulous usury, the prohibition of foreign travel, 
and the spirit of compromise, which takes under its sanction 
every form of superstition, as well as of vice and lust and 
cruelty. All these have to be replaced by the light of 
knowledge, and by the sweet atmosphere of Christian love, 
purity, justice, trust, and godliness. 


' By these great evils had the natural charm and graces 
of the Indian character been overborne. A frugal, home- 
loving, docile, courteous, and religious people, with a simple 
civilization, with many gracious traits and beautiful customs, 
and with much power of subtle thought, had been misled by 
the ignorance or unscrupulousness of their leaders. No 
kinder act could be done for them than to deliver the Hindus 
from Hinduism, and the Brahmans from Brahmanism, and 
to bring them into the glorious liberty and joy of the sons 
of God, and into the high privilege of discipleship to Him 
who has shown Himself the world's great Redeemer, the 
sinless Friend of sinners. Such was the task which the 
Church set before itself in the missionary enterprise. 

' To all this must be added the conversion to Christ of tJic 
great Muhainmadan population^ numbering 58,000,000, more 
numerous in India than in any other country, inheriting 
many true conceptions respecting God and man, together 
with a chastely simple form of worship, and yet unable to 
reap the advantages of this inheritance, because of the pure 
externality in which they have made the essentials of 
religion to consist, their bigoted resistance to all new 
truth, and the finality they attribute to the traditional 
teaching and practices of Muhammad.' 

To those who ponder this colossal system of religious 
beliefs and practices, and who remember the vast popula- 
tions concerned, it will be obvious that victory over it can be 
won by no brief, spasmodic attacks, but only by a careful, 
many-sided propaganda, patiently and steadily maintained 
for a prolonged period. In previous centuries the Christian 
Church has never realized these facts, and has attempted 
the conversion of India by puny and inadequate efforts 
foredoomed to failure. During the nineteenth century it 
selected the most appropriate methods, and on a larger 
scale, which in due time will accomplish its purpose, and 
replace Hinduism by a fairer Christianity. 

In addition to these tremendous obstacles, the early 
missionaries had to face bitter opposition where they might 
have reasonably expected, if not active co-operation, at 

« INDIA IN mr, sj'inpiithy and toleration — at ihc liaiuls of the I'.ast 
India Coinpaiiy. Hy tlie close of the ei^ht(;enth century 
the ('oni|)aiiy had hcconic practically, thoiijdi not yet 
absohitcly, masters of India. Actually the ("oini)any held 
Hway over only the lien^al, Hehar, and Henarcs districts 
of the (iaiijjes Valley, together with some stations on 
the Madras and Malabar coasts and Serinj^apatam. ]Uit 
tile rondilion ofllx- rest of India was such as to render the 
siil)S(<|n(iil iiro;;rcss of con(|n(sl inevitable. In the c-arlier 
stages of its history the Company was not unmindful of its 
duties towards its employes, and endeavoured to secure 
foi the main stations suitable ( hai)Iains. Ihit at no period 
of its history does it ever seem to have considered the 
instriii-|i(in of the natives in ( "hiislianity to be any part 
ol its dnt\. I'lom tiuie to time anion*; the oftlcials ami 
cliaplaiiis there weic individuals who lell ;ind who tried 
to dischai"i;e this responsibilit)' ; but it was done always in 
spite of, not with, oKicial sanction. 'J"he ablest man of 
this class, and one lo whom huU.i owes ;iu incalculai)le 
and j-et lar^cl)- unacknovvledi;c'd debt, was Charles (irant. 
After thirty years* service he went home, became Chairman 
(^1 the l)ir((lois, and in i/t^J prescMiled to the Hoaid his 
l^/iscri'(ifioiis on the Stole of Society ainofii^ the Asiatie 
Snhjeets of di eat Ihitdiii. This treatise, so lull of informa- 
tion and suggestions of the hi|j;hest value, was kept back 
b)' his colleagues, and was not generally circulated mitil 
the year iSij. 

Public opinion .il honu-, espi-ciall)' in thosi' circles 
inllnenred b\ the 'C'lapham Sect,' was i)ecoming strongl)' 
aioused to the necessit)' of ending the complacent paganism 
of the Ivast India C'om[)any's policj-. In 171;^, when the 
renew.d ol the ehartiM' came beloii> I'arliament. VVilber- 
loici" sucieeded in passing a resolution 'that it is the 
pi-culiar and bounden dut\' of the Ihitish JA-gislature to 
piomole, by ,dl just and piutK-nt means, the intei-est and 
happiiu-ss oi the inhabitants of the Ihitish ilominions in 
Tndi.i ; and that for these ends such mea.surc\s ought to 
be .ulopted as ma\- gi.uliiall)' lend to their adxancemeut 


in useful knowlcdj^fc, and to their relij^ious and iiioial 
iinproveinent.' lUit this resolution, tame and common[)laee 
as it reads to-day, aroused such an ani^ry storm that the 
Government threw over both it and its author, and for 
another twenty years the misdirected bi^^olry and sliort- 
sit^litedness of the I'^ast India House had their way. Not 
until if^i;5 was the victory won for rehj^ious freedom. 
'The charter of 1^13 was the foundation not only of 
the ecclesiastical establishment, but, what is of far more 
importance for the civilization and the Christianization of 
its people, of the educational system of India ^' 

The result was immediate, and was also progressively 
satisfactory. Prior to J Hi 3 missionaries had to be smuggled 
into the country, and could be ex[)elled by the arbitrary 
dicliun of the local governor. Not only was nothing done 
to teach the Hindus the folly and error of their religious 
systems, but in many ways I)ritish innuence was used to 
protect and maintain them. As late as ifSi^ a .Sepoy was 
expelled from the army for the crime of becoming a Christian, 
and Sir I'eregrine Maitland, Commander-in-Chief of the 
Madras army, resigned rather than submit to the degrada- 
tion of saluting idols, r2ven after 1H13, Christian officials 
were not allowed in their private capacity the privilege of 
attempting to show Hindus 'the more excellent way' they 
followed themselves. Jiut from the moment the charter 
passed, India entered upon a new [)ath of [)olitical, scjcial, 
and religious [)rogress. 

'At no [)cri()d in the history of the Christian Church, 
not even in the brilliant century of legislation from Con- 
stantine's edict of toleration to the Theodosian code, 
has Christianity been the means of abolishing so many 
inhuman customs and crimes as were supi)ressed in India 
by the Company's Regulations and Acts in the first half of 
the nineteenth century, The Christ-like work kept rapid 
step with the progress of Christian opinion and beneficent 
reforms in Great liritain, but it was due in the first instance 
to the missionaries in India. In the teeth of the supporters 

' 7Vie Conversion of India ^ Ijy Dr. George Smith, \i. 109. 

lo INDIA IN 1795 

of Hinduism, European as well as Brahmanical, and con- 
trary to the custom of centuries, it ceased to be lawful, it 
became penal, even in the name of religion : (i) to murder 
parents by suttee, by exposure on the banks of rivers, or 
by burial alive ; (2) to murder children by dedication to 
the Ganges, to be devoured by crocodiles, or daughters by 
the Rajpoot modes of infanticide ; (3) to offer up human 
sacrifices in a temple, or to propitiate the earth-goddess ; 
(4) to encourage suicide under the wheels of idol-cars, or 
wells, or otherwise ; (5) to promote voluntary torment by 
hook-swinging, thigh-piercing, tongue-extraction, &c. ; or 
(6) involuntary torment by mutilation, trampling to death, 
ordeals, and barbarous executions. Slavery and the slave- 
trade were made illegal. Caste was no longer supported 
by law, nor recognized in appointments to office. The long 
compromise with idolatry during the previous two cen- 
turies ceased, so that the Government no more called its 
Christian soldiers to salute idols, or its civil officers to 
recognize gods in official documents, or manage the affairs 
of idol-temples, and extort a revenue from idol-pilgrimages. 
A long step was taken by legislative Acts to protect the 
civil rights of converts to Christianity as to any other 
religion, and to leave Hindu widows free to marry '.' 

As Dr. George Smith points out in his SJiort History 
of Missions'^, 'the real missionary influence of the East 
India Company, exercised by Providence through it in 
spite of its frequent intolerance and continued professions 
of neutrality till it was swept away in the blood of 
the Mutiny, was like that of the Roman Empire: (1) the 
Company rescued all Southern Asia from anarchy and 
made possible the growth of law, order, property, and 
peace as a sort of moral police ; (2) the Company 
introduced roads, commerce, wealth, and the physical 
preparation for the Gospel during a time of transition ; 
(3) the Company quickened the conscience of Great 
Britain and its churches as they aAvoke to their duty after 
the close of the eighteenth century, partly by its extreme 

^ The Conversion of India, p. iio. " p. 145. 


opposition to missions, partly by the earnest civilians and 
officers, and in a very few cases merchants and chaplains, 
whom it sent home with knowledge and experience. The 
East India Company has hardly any higher praise than 
that of the pagan Roman Empire, but it is entitled to 
that — it did for the southern nations of Asia what Rome 
had done for the northern nations of Europe.' 

To the India thus prepared for the Gospel went the 
missionaries of the London Missionary Society, the first 
to follow where Carey, with quenchless faith, indomitable 
energy, and sound common sense, had so bravely led the 

[Authorities. — Letters and Official Reports ; Dr. George Smitli's Con- 
version of India, and Short History of Missions ; A Primer of Modern Missions, 
edited by R. Lovett, M.A.; A History of Protestant Missions in India, 1706- 
1882, by M. A, Sherring, revised by E. Storrovv, 18S4] 



The Report for 1798 contains the earliest reference in 
the Society's annals to definite work in India. There 
we read : ' A pleasing expectation is entertained of the 
Rev. Nathaniel Forsyth, who is a well-informed man, and 
appears to be animated by a truly missionary spirit. He 
has been set apart for his work, and has lately embarked 
for the Cape of Good Hope.' To this man belongs the 
abiding honour of having been the first, and for some years 
the sole, missionary sent out by the Society to the vast 
field of India. The Reports for the years itSoo to 1H03 
continue his story : — ■ 

' Since the last General Meeting, the Directors have 
received several letters from Mr. Forsyth, the Societys 
missionary in the East Indies. It is expected that before 
this time he has fixed on a favourable spot (in the vicinity 
of Calcutta) for the commencement of his missionary 
labours, as it does not appear that he has met with any 
material impediment in his design of prosecuting this im- 
portant service. He complains of, and feelingly laments, 
the extreme depravity and deeply rooted superstitions of 
the Hindoos, which render them very inimical to the 
simplicity and purity of the Gospel. He requests that 
additional missionaries may be sent to his assistance, and 
points out such means for their introduction and patronage 
as the Directors trust will prove a providential opening, for 
the increase of missionary labour and success in that 
populous but dreadfully depraved country. This mission 


must therefore be considered as in its infancy : very little as 
yet can have been done, but much useful information has 
been acquired, and the Directors will, no doubt, avail 
themselves of every assistance that has been, or may be, 
given to send out more labourers into this eastern part of 
our Lord's vineyard ^.' 

'A letter, dated August 5, 1800, has lately been received 
from Mr. Forsyth, the Society's missionary in India. At 
that time he was well in health, had made considerable 
proficiency in the language of the country, and was about 
to begin a school for the instruction of the children of the 
natives. Mr. Forsyth appears to possess a true missionary 
spirit, and he exhibits fidelity and disinterestedness of 
character and conduct. The Directors have long since 
been authorized to increase the mission to that part of 
the world, but circumstances have occurred to frustrate 
their desires and intentions ^.' 

' The Directors, on referring to the solitary labours of 
Mr. Forsyth in the East Indies, cannot help lamenting 
that a region so extensive, with a population propor- 
tionably great, and also deplorably superstitious and 
idolatrous, should not have shared more largely in the 
benevolent exertions of this Society. The resolutions of 
general meetings have so frequently authorized and re- 
commended missions to several parts of the East Indies, 
that these objects could not possibly be forgotten, and 
they have not been, nor will they be neglected, whenever 
missionary zeal and ability shall combine and present 
means to accomplish them ; but the Directors have not 
yet been favoured with offers from persons whose quali- 
fications are suited, in their opinion, to strengthen, enlarge, 
and establish efficient missionary exertions in the East 
Indies. By letters which have been received from Mr. 
Forsyth, it appears that he continues to labour with dili- 
gence and zeal : and, it is hoped, not without attestation 
of divine approbation and influence. It is both right and 
necessary to add that Mr. Forsyth has acted in a very 
1 Report, 1800. = Ibid. 1801, 


disinterested manner towards this Society, having subjected 
it to no expense on his account since his arrival in India ^.' 
' They trust that their solitary missionary in India 
(Forsyth), who has long expressed his ardent desire for 
assistance in that extensive field of action, will have this 
desire gratified ; and that the many millions of heathens 
in those idolatrous regions will be continually receiving 
fresh accessions of Christian missionaries from this Society 

^ and others, who, like friendly allies, will afford their mutual 
aid in the cause of their common Lord 2.' 

Thus in the first eight years of its existence the Society 

V^ was able to send and to maintain in India only one solitary 
missionary. But the reasons for this were many, and readily 
account for seeming slackness on the part of the Directors. 
The India of 1800 was further away from London than the 
heart of Darkest Africa is to-day. The East India Com- 
pany was so bitterly hostile to all efforts for carrying to 
the Hindus a knowledge of the Gospel that missionaries 
were expressly forbidden to land, and even if they succeeded 
in landing were deported by force. Carey, who had pre- 

v^ ceded Forsyth by only five years, owed his gaining a 
foothold to the providential fact that Denmark held a small 
patch of Indian territory around Serampore, and threw 
over him and his colleagues the mantle of her protection. 
It is one of the ironies of history that while Great Britain, 
one of the most powerful of European nations, from whom 
Carey sprang, exerted her power to frustrate his benevo- 
lent aims, Denmark, one of the least influential of European 
peoples, was able to hold open the door of blessing through 
which Carey and his colleagues, and also Nathaniel Forsyth, 
entered to begin their beneficent labours for the millions 
of India. 

All the original records of Forsyth's work in India seem 
unhappily to have disappeared, and he is a man of whom 
we would have gladly known more. In j8i2 he was 

-^ joined at Chinsurah by Mr. and Mrs. May. The former 
was an ardent and skilful educationalist, and carried on 
' Report, 1S02. 2 ujij^ jg^^ 


a most successful system of school-work. About the same 
time Forsyth ceased to be directly connected with the 
Society, and he died at Chandernagore on Feb. 14, 1816. 
G. Gogerly, one of his immediate successors in the Bengal 
Mission, gives the following sketch ^ of him : — 

' Mr. Forsyth is described as being a man of most singular 
self-denial and large-heartedness, and as generous to an 
extreme. His whole time, talents, and property he devoted 
most conscientiously to his missionary work, and to the 
relief of suffering humanity. From the funds of the London 
Missionary Society he never received anything, with the 
exception of a few dollars when he embarked for India. 
His private resources were exceedingly limited , and, in 
consequence, his mode of living was most simple and in- 
expensive. " For a time," said his friend Mr. Edmond, 
whom everybody in Calcutta knew and loved, "he had no 
stated dwelling-place, but lived in a small boat, in which he 
went up and down to preach at the different towns on the 
banks of the river." 

' By the Dutch Local Government Mr. Forsyth was 
appointed minister of the Church at Chinsurah ; and, after 
frequently refusing any remuneration for his services, con- 
sented at last to accept fifty rupees a month The Hon. 
Mr. Harrington, a firm friend of missions, placed at his 
disposal a small bungalow at Bandel, about three miles 
above Chinsurah, from which spot he regularly walked 
every Sunday morning to discharge his duties ; afterwards, 
not unfrequently, he would proceed to Calcutta to preach 
at the General Hospital, by permission of the Rev. David 
Brown, then senior presidency and garrison chaplain. 

* This injudicious mode of living in a country like Bengal, 
denying himself almost the common necessaries of life, 
refusing to travel either by carriage or palankeen, but 
always walking where he could not be conveyed by boat, 
produced, as might be expected, the prostration of a natur- 
ally strong constitution ; and after eighteen years of labour 
Mr. Forsyth died in 18 16, aged forty-seven years. Thus 
* rioneeis of the Bengal Mission, p. 60. 


fell the first pioneer connected with the London Missionary 
Society in Bengal ; not, however, until he had given an 
impetus to that glorious work which will go on until the 
whole of India is brought into subjection to the Lord Jesus 

Robert May was an educationalist of no mean power. 
He was spared to labour for only five years, but during 
that time he accomplished some remarkable results. 

' How eminently successful he was in this branch of 
labour may be gathered from the fact, that at the end of 
1815 he had twenty schools under his charge, in which 
instruction was imparted to 1651 children, of whom as 
many as 258 were the sons of Brahmans, a remarkable 
circumstance in those times. The scheme of education 
was highly approved by Mr. Gordon Forbes, the Commis- 
sioner of Chinsurah, and was by him recommended to the 
Supreme Government. The Marquis of Hastings readily 
complied with the request of Mr. Forbes, that the scheme 
should be aided from the imperial funds, and with great 
liberality appropriated a monthly grant of 600 rupees 
(about £60) for the purpose. By the aid of the grant, in 
the course of the next year, the schools and scholars were 
still further multiplied, so that at its close Mr. May had 
under his superintendence as many as thirty schools, in 
which 2,600 children received instruction. The Govern- 
ment, on hearing these rapid results, forthwith increased its 
grant to 800 rupees monthly. Mr. May found himself 
unable to attend to this great work alone, and was soon 
joined by the Rev. J. D. Pearson, sent out from England, 
and by Mr. Hasle, a European who had resided for several 
years in India ^.' 

The mission continued in the hands of the London 
Society for a long period. It was prosecuted with much 
zeal, and conveyed much useful knowledge to tens of 
thousands of the people. One of the most diligent mis- 
sionaries of the Society was the Rev. G. Mundy, who took 
up the work in Chinsurah in 1820. He suffered much 

■ Protestant Missions i?i India (1884), M. A. Sherring, p. 80. 


ill his family and in himself from ill health, and ceased 
to have any direct connection with Chinsurah in 1844. 
He was succeeded by James Bradbury, who had joined 
the mission in 1842, and who laboured there until the 
station was, in 1849, transferred to the Free Church of 
Scotland. The last reference to Chinsurah in the Reports 
occurs in 1849. 'The Directors are gratified to state that, 
having been led to relinquish this station in consequence 
of the inadequate resources of the Society, arrangements 
have been made for its transfer to the Free Church of 
Scotland.' Mr. Bradbury in 1849 removed to Berhampur, 
and the Society's direct association with the scene of the 
labours of Nathaniel Forsyth thus came to a close. 

[Authorities. — Official Reports; Transaclions of the Society, vols i-iv; 
History of Protestant Missions in India, S\ve\xing; The Pioneers : A Narra- 
tive of Facts connected with Early Christiatt Missions in Bengal, chiejly 
relating to the operations of the Lottdon Missionary Society, George Gogerly, 
London, 1871.] 




From 1798 to 1803 the needs of India were before the 
minds of the Directors, and occupied a large share of their 
attention; but it was not until 1H04 that they were able 
to send out the first company of missionaries. The con- 
ditions under which they were sent and the quality of the 
workers are quaintly set forth in the Report for 1804: — 

' The Rev. Mr. Vos superintends the mission designed 
for Ceylon. His long standing in the Christian ministry, 
his faithful and successful labours therein, both at Holland 
and the Cape of Good Hope, added to the experience which 
he has acquired by his previous intercourse with the igno- 
rant and uncivilized part of mankind, point him out as 
a person remarkably qualified to fill this station. He is 
accompanied by the Brethren Ehrhardt and Palm, natives 
of Germany, who received their education for missionary 
services at the seminary at Berlin, which was instituted 
chiefly, if not solely, for this object, and is under the care, 
as before mentioned, of that valuable instructor, the 
Rev. Mr. Jaenicke. They have also passed a considerable 
time in Holland, with a view of acquiring a more perfect 
acquaintance with the Dutch language, which is used in 
Ceylon. Mrs. Vos and Mrs. Palm have also an important 
service to occupy their zeal, in the instruction of the female 
natives, and in assisting in the education of children. 

' Those who are designed to labour on the continent of 
India are the Rev. Messrs. Ringcltaube, Des Granges, and 
Cran. The first is a native of Prussia, who has already 
passed a short time in India, and has since held his principal 


intercourse with the Society of the United Brethren. The 
other missionaries have been about two years in the seminary 
at Gosport ; and the whole have been ordained to the office 
of the Christian ministry, and recommended to the grace of 
God in the discharge of the arduous and important service 
to which they are called. 

' It has been observed that some of our brethren are 
intended for the island of Ceylon, this being the station on 
which the attention of the Society, and of the Directors, is 
more especially fixed, and where, we trust, they will actually 
labour : yet, in the first instance, they are to accompany 
their brethren to Tranquebar, where they will obtain such '^ 
accurate and comprehensive information as will greatly 
assist them in forming their future plans ; and where they 
will find some Christian friends, who will promote their 
introduction, were not this rendered almost unnecessary by 
the kindness of one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of 
state, who has furnished them with a letter to his excellency 
Frederick North, the governor of the colony. The Directors 
have also fixed in their own minds a particular station for 
the labours of the brethren who are to remain on the Con- 
tinent, and in which a very extensive field appears ripe for 
the harvest ; this they have more particularly pointed out 
in their instructions, leaving, however, the ultimate decisioil 
to themselves, under the intimations of Divine providence, 
and the advice of those pious and well-informed friends 
with whom they will communicate on their arrival.' 

No vessel of the East India Company was permitted to 
grant this company of missionaries a passage, as they went 
out in face of the open hostility of the Government, so the 
little band went to Copenhagen. Five of them sailed for 
India in a Danish vessel, bound for Tranquebar, on April 20, 
1804, and were followed by Palm, who left Copenhagen on 
October iH. The five reached Tranquebar on December 5, '' 
and Palm arrived there June 4, 1H05. 

The Directors had further decided to establish a mission 
at Surat, and had appointed W. C. Loveless and John 
Taylor, M.D., to labour there. They sailed from London 

c a 


December 15, 1804, and reached Madras June 24, 1805. By 
this handful of workers the foundations were laid of the 
j4"reat work in Southern India which has been so success- 
fully carried on throughout the century. From Tranquebar 
as a base these men, soon supplemented and strengthened 
by others, originated missionary work in the important 
llelds of Ceylon, Travancore. Madras^ Vizagapatam, Surat, 
and Bellary. 

1. Ceylon. From 180.-^ to 1819 the work of the Society 
in Ceylon was carried on by four men. Unfortunately all the 
original records of this work also seem to have disappeared 
from the Society's archives, and all we know about it has to 
be gleaned from the somewhat scanty printed reports of the 
]:)eriod. The four missionaries were M. C. Vos, J. P. Ehr- 
hardt, J. D. Palm, and W. Read. The last had been for 
a short time at Tahiti, and was met by Mr. Vos at the Cape, 
and by him engaged for service in Ceylon. Vos settled in 
1 805 at Point de Galle, but was soon called to Colombo to 
take charge of a Dutch church there. Ehrhardt settled at 
Matura ; Palm at Jaffnapatam, and Read at Point de 
(ialle. Obstacles and difficulties similar to those which 
obtained in other parts of India were soon experienced. 
The missionaries were at first cordially welcomed by the 
governor, Mr. North, by whose influence the stations they 
occupied were assigned to them. The description of their 
work reads curiously in the light of to-day. ' The liberality 
of the government provides in part for the support of each 
of these missionaries, by which the funds of the Society 
will be relieved. They are actively engaged in acquiring 
the Cingalese language, in preaching to those who under- 
stand Dutch, and in instructing their children.' In Ceylon 
at this period there were large numbers of nominal Christians, 
but their condition may be gauged from one of Mr. Vos's 
letters : ' One hundred thousand of those who are called 
("hristians, because they are baptized, need not go back 
to heathenism, for they never have been anything but 
worshippers of Buddha.' 


Troubles soon arose. Mr. Vos's ministrations oiTended 
the Dutch consistory, and they demanded his expulsion 
from the island. He left in 1807, and soon after returned to 
the Cape of Good Hope. In i S 1 2 Ehrhardt became minister 
of a Dutch church at Matura, and Palm of a Dutch church 
at Colombo. They both then ceased to depend upon the 
Society, and to be subject to its control. For two or 
three years they seem to have been active in educational 
work under government direction, and the last mention of 
Ceylon as a sphere of service occurs in the Report for 1817 
and 1 818. In the former we read: 'Mr. Ehrhardt and 
Mr. Read continue in Ceylon ; the former has been 
removed by the government to Cultura, where he preaches 
alternately in Dutch and Cingalese. He has also estab- 
lished a school in which children are instructed in English, 
Dutch, and Cingalese, and on the Lord's day in the 
meaning of the chapter which they read. Mr. Read 
preaches twice a week in Dutch and keeps a day school.' 

A few lines in the 1818 Report are the last reference 
in the Society's official records to this mission. After 1818 
Ceylon disappears from the list of stations. That the men 
did good work is certain ; but it is equally certain that as the 
agents were supported by Government, other considerations 
than missionary necessities became dominant. The mission 
became an early example of the unsatisfactory result, during 
the first twenty-five years of the Society's history, of attempt- 
ing too soon to make missions locally self-supporting. 

2. Travancore. The most remarkable man among 
the first group of South Indian missionaries was Ringeltaube. 
He was a Prussian, and was born in 1770. He studied at 
Halle, and while there was so powerfully impressed by the 
life of John Newton, that he was led, like Newton, to 
seek the Lord with all his heart, and to be ready for any 
sacrifice at the Lord's call. He was ordained in 1796,. and 
in the same year accepted an offer to go to Calcutta as an 
agent of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 
His stay there was brief, because ' he found he was to 



preach neither in Bengah nor in English, but in Portuguese 
to a mixed congregation of Portuguese, Malays, Jews, and 
Chinese.' In 1799 he returned to Europe. In 1803 he 
was accepted by the Society, and accompanied the others 
to Tranquebar^. There he took up with great energy the 
study of Tamil, and gradually was attracted towards Tra- 
vancore as his field for service. One reason for this choice 
he gives in a letter to a friend, dated September 1 1, 1806 : 
' Long experience has taught me that in large towns, espe- 
cially where many Europeans are, the Gospel makes but 
little progress. Superstition is there too powerfully estab- 
lished, and the example of the P^uropeans too baneful.' 
In P^ebruary, 1806, Ringeltaube journeyed by way of Tuti- 
corin to Palamcottah, and there obtained from the British 
Resident in Travancore a passport to enter that province. 
In April he visited Trevandrum, and finally obtained 
permission to establish a mission at Mayiladi, near Cape 

Travancore is remarkable for the beauty of its situation, 
for the character and customs of the people, and for the 
success which during the century has attended the work of 
the mission. Before describing the work of Ringeltaube, 
who can fairly claim the title of pioneer for Travancore — the 
scene of by far the greatest successes in the way of con- 
verts hitherto achieved by the Society in India— we will 
sketch the country and people in the words of Travancore's 
literary missionary, the Rev. Samuel Mateer -. 

' Travancore is a long, narrow strip of territory, measuring 
174 miles in extreme length, and from 30 to 75 miles in 
breadth, lying between the Malabar Coast and the great 
chain of the Western Ghauts, a noble range of mountains, 
which, for hundreds of miles, runs almost parallel with the 
Western Coast of India, and which divides Travancore 
from the British provinces of Tinnevelly and Dindigul. 
It will be observed that Travancore thus occupies a very 

' tor much valuable information about Ringeltaube see an article by the 
Ktv. W. Robinson in the Chronicle for January, 1889. 
^ The Laud of Chai-i'y, pp. 2, 3, et seq. 


secluded position. The high mountain barrier on the East 
is almost impassable ; the sea forms a protection on the 
West ; it is therefore only from the North and the extreme 
South that the country is easily accessible. 

' From its physical conformation Travancore is literally 
" a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that 
spring out of valleys and hills." Fourteen principal rivers 
take their rise in the mountains, and before falling into the 
sea spread out, more or less, over the low grounds near 
the coast, forming inland lakes or estuaries of irregular 
forms, locally called " backwaters." These " backwaters " 
have been united by canals running parallel with the 
coast, and they are thus of immense value as a means 
of communication between the Northern and Southern 
districts. Travellers may in this way pass by water from 
Ponany, near Calicut, to Kolachel, a distance of not much 
under 200 miles. The mode of conveyance consists either 
of canoes hollowed out of the trunks of large trees, pushed 
along by two men with bamboo poles, or of " cabin boats," 
built somewhat like English boats, with a neat and 
comfortable cabin at the stern, which are propelled by 
from eight to fourteen rowers, according to their size. 
The principal road in Travancore also runs nearly parallel 
with the coast at a few miles' distance. 

' The distinct castes and subdivisions found in various 
parts of Travancore are reckoned to be no less than 
eighty-two in number. All these vary in rank, in the 
nicely graduated scale, from the highest of the Brahmans 
to the lowest of the slaves. Occasional diversities, arising 
from local circumstances, are observable in the relative 
position of some of these castes. But speaking generally, 
all, from the Brahman priests down to the guilds of 
carpenters and goldsmiths, are regarded as of /lig-Zi or good 
caste ; and from the Shanar tree-climbers and washermen 
down to the various classes of slaves, as of inferior or 
low caste. 

' To give some definite idea of these component parts 
of the population, four principal castes may be selected as 


typical or illustrative of the whole. These are Brahmans, 
Svidras, Shanars, and Pulayars. The BraJunans in Travan- 
core are divided into two principal classes — Namburis or 
Malaj'alim Brahmans, indigenous to the country, and 
foreign Brahmans, originally from the Canara, Mahratta, 
Tulu, and Tamil countries, but who are now settled 
in Travancore. The Namburi Brahmans, numbering about 
io,coo, are regarded as peculiarly sacred, and as exalted 
far beyond the foreign Brahmans. They claim to be the 
aboriginal proprietors of the soil, to whom the ancestors 
of the present rajahs and chiefs were indebted for all 
that they possessed. In consequence of their seclusion, 
caste prejudices, and strict attention to ceremonial purity, 
these Brahmans are almost inaccessible to the European 

'The Brahmans in Travancore have secured for them- 
selves a high and unfair superiority over all other classes. 
They are the only class that are free from all social and 
religious disabilities, and enjoy perfect liberty of action. 
The whole framework of Hinduism has been adapted 
to the comfort and exaltation of the Brahman. His word 
is law ; his smile confers happiness and salvation ; his 
power with heaven is unlimited ; the very dust of his 
feet is purifying in its nature and efficacy. Each is an 
infallible pope in his own sphere. The Brahman is the 
exclusive and Pharisaic Jew of India. 

* Even Europeans would be brought by Brahmans under 
the influence of these intolerable arrangements, did they 
only possess the power to compel the former to observe 
them. During the early intercourse of Europeans with 
Travancore, they were forbidden to use the main road, and 
required to pass by a path along the coast where Brahmans 
rarely travel ; access to the capital was also refused as long 
as possible. 

'The Si'idras were originally the lowest of the four 
true castes, and are still a degraded caste in North India. 
But in the South there are so many divisions below the 
Siidras, and they are so numerous, active, and influential, 


that they are regarded as quite high-caste people. The 
Sudras are the middle classes of Travancore. The greater 
portion of the land is in their hands, and until recently 
they were also the principal owners of slaves. They are 
the dominant and ruling class. They form the magistracy 
and holders of most of the Government offices — the 
military and police — the wealthy farmers, the merchants, 
and skilled artisans of the country. The Royal Family 
are members of this caste. The ordinary appellation of the 
Sudras of Malabar is Nair (pronounced like the English 
word '-nigher"), meaning lord, chief, or master; a mar- 
vellous change from their original position, according 
to Hindu tradition. By the primitive laws of caste they 
are forbidden to read the sacred books, or perform religious 
ceremonies, and are regarded as created for the service of 
the Brahmans. 

' In consequence of their peculiar marriage customs the 
law of inheritance amongst the Sudras is equally strange. 
The children of a Siidra woman inherit the property and 
heritable honours, not of their father, but of their mother's 
brother. They are their uncle s nearest heirs, and he is 
their legal guardian. So it is, for example, in the succession 
to the throne. 

' The Ilavars, Shdnars, and others form a third great 
subdivision of the population. These constitute the 
highest division of the low castes. . . . The Ilavars and 
Shanars differ but little from one another in employments 
and character, and are, no doubt, identical in origin. 
The Shanars are found only in the southern districts 
of Travancore, between the Cape and Trevandrum ; from 
which northwards the Ilavars occupy their place. These 
are the palm-tree cultivators, the toddy drawers, sugar 
manufacturers, and distillers of Travancore. Their social 
position somewhat corresponds to that of small farmers 
and agricultural labourers amongst ourselves. . . . 

' The Siidra custom of a man and woman living together 
as husband and wife, with liberty to separate after certain 
settlements and formalities, has been adopted by most ot 


the Ilavars, and by a few of the Shanars in their vicinity; 
and amongst these castes also the inheritance usually 
descends to nephews by the female line. A few divide 
their property, half to the nephews and half to the sons. 
The rule is that all property which has been inherited 
shall fall to nephews, but wealth which has been 
accumulated by the testator himself may be equally 
divided between nephews and sons. 

' These strange customs have sometimes occasioned 
considerable difficulty to missionaries in dealing with 
them, in the case of converts to Christianity. Persons 
who have been living together after the observance of the 
trivial form of "giving a cloth" are of course required 
to marry in Christian form. The necessary inquiries are 
therefore made into their history, and into the circumstances 
of each case of concubinage ; deeds of separation, drawn 
up according to heathen law, are read and examined, and 
all outstanding claims are legally settled. 

' The Shanars of South Travancore are of the same 
class as those of Tinnevelly, and in both provinces they 
have in large numbers embraced the profession of 
Christianity. Their employment is the cultivation of the 
Palmyra palm, which they climb daily in order to extract 
the sap from the flower-stem at the top. This is manu- 
factured into a coarse dark sugar, which they sell or use 
for food and other purposes. The general circumstances of 
the Shanar and Ilavar population in Travancore, especially 
of the former, have long been most humiliating and de- 
grading. Their social condition is by no means so deplor- 
able as that of the slave castes, and has materially improved 
under the benign influence of Christianity, concurrently 
with the general advancement of the country. 

' The slave castes — the lowest of the low — comprehend 
the Pallars, the Pariahs, and the Pnlayars. Of these the 
Pariahs; a Tamil caste, are found, like the Shanars, only 
in the southern districts and in Shencotta, east of the 
Ghauts ; but they appear to be in many respects inferior 
to those of the eastern coast. Their habits generally are 


most filthy and disgusting. The Pulayars, the lowest of 
the slave castes, reside in miserable huts on mounds in the 
centre of the rice swamps, or on the raised embankments in 
their vicinity. They are engaged in agriculture as the 
servants of the Sudra and other landowners. Wages are 
usually paid to them in kind, and at the lowest possible 
rates. These poor people are steeped in the densest 
ignorance and stupidity. Drunkenness, lying, and evil 
passions prevail amongst them, except where of late years 
the Gospel has been the means of their reclamation from 
vice, and of their social elevation.' 

The languages spoken in Travancore are Tamil and 
Malayalim. Tamil is spoken for about fort}- miles north 
of Cape Comorin ; Malayalim north of the Neyattinkara 
River. That is, about one-fourth of the inhabitants of 
Travancore speak Tamil, and three-fourths Malayalim. 

It was to this earthly Paradise, but rendered loathsome 
by the ignorance, cruelty, superstition, and pride of man, 
that the steps of Ringeltaube were providentially directed. 
His journal for 1806-7 describes how at Tuticorin the 
call to enter it came to him : — 

'When in the evening, sitting in the verandah of the 
old fort (formerly the abode of power and luxury, now 
the refuge of a houseless traveller, and thousands of bats 
suspended from the ceiling), enjoying the extensive prospect, 
and communing with my own heart, and the God to whom 
mercies and forgivenesses belong, something frightened me 
by falling suddenly at my feet, and croaking, Paraubrcn 
Istotiram, i.e. God be praised ; the usual words our 
Christians pronounce when greeting : I rejoiced to see 
an individual of that tribe among whom I had been so 
anxious to labour. Entered into conversation with him, as 
well as I could, to ascertain his ideas about religion, but 
was soon nonplussed by his stupidity. I could not force 
a word from him in answer to my plain questions, which 
he contented himself literally to give back to me. With 
a sigh, I was forced to dismiss him.' 

This interview, unsatisfactory as it was, with a degraded 


and ignorant Shanar, strengthened the desire which already 
possessed Ringeltaube to reach Travancore. On April 25, 
1806, his desire was gratified. Here is his own picture of 
the scene :— 

' Set out at dawn, and made that passage through the 
hills, which is called the Arambuly gaut, about noon. Grand 
prospects of precipices, mountains, hills adorned with 
temples and other picturesque objects, presented them- 
selves. My timid companions, however, trembled at every 
step, being now on ground altogether in the power of the 
Brahmans, the sworn enemy of the Christian name : and 
indeed a little occurrence soon convinced us that we were 
no more on British territory. I laid down to rest in 
a caravansary, appropriated for Brahmans only, when the 
magistrate immediately sent word for me to remove, other- 
wise their god would no more eat ! I reluctantly obeyed, 
and proceeded round the southern hills to a village called 
Mayilady, from whence formerly two men came to 
Tranquebar to request me to come and see them, repre- 
senting that two hundred heathens at this place were 
desirous to embrace our religion. I lodged two days at 
their house, where I preached and prayed ; some of them 
knew the catechism. They begged hard for a native 
teacher, but declared they could not build a church, as all 
this country had been given by the king of Travancore to 
the Brahmans, in consequence of which, the magistrates 
would not give them permission. I spent here the Lord's 
day, for the first time, very uncomfortably, in an Indian 
hut, in the midst of a noisy gaping crowd, which filled the 
house. Perhaps my disappointment contributed to my 
unpleasant feelings ; I had expected to find hundreds 
eager to listen to the Word, instead of which, I had a diffi- 
culty to make a few families attend for an hour. 

' Travelling pleasantly under the shade of trees across 
hill and dale, with the ever-varying prospect of the gauts 
on my right, I reached Tiruvandirem, the capital of Travan- 
core, on April 30. On the road I stopped, as travellers in 
general do, at Roman Catholic churches. Finding the 


dialect spoken here differing from the pure Tamil as much 
as the Yorkshire dialect does from pure English, I was 
much at a loss to understand them and make myself 
understood. ' 

Ringeltaube visited Anjengo, and on May 3 reached 
Quilon, and then by boat over the backwater travelled to 
Cochin. Here he met Colonel Macauly, the British 
Resident in Travancore, with whom he had been in corre- 
spondence, and who exerted his influence to get Ringeltaube 
permission from the rajah to build a church and reside in 
the country. Ringeltaube, on his return to Palamcottah, 
thus outlines his plan for the mission, and it is interesting to 
note that he here sketches the main lines which have been 
followed in the later development of the mission: — 

' I, A small congregation to be begun near the confines 
of Travancore : ;!^ioo to be devoted to buying ground and 
erecting necessary buildings. 

' 2. A seminary of twelve youths, drawn from the exist- 
ing congregations, to be formed : a pagoda and a half to be 
allowed for every youth per month, viz. i 2s. 

' 3. When prepared, these youths to be sent out two and 
two, as itinerants, and two pagodas per month allowed as 
their stipend. 

' 4. If some of these prove very successful, and are truly 
gracious subjects, they should be ordained ; but previous 
to this they should take a solemn oath not to exercise 
their ministry but in such a way as shall be approved by 
the Church. 

'5. These to form an annual synod, under the presidency 
of an European missionary. Thus they will be gradually 
taught to govern a Church with prudence and wisdom, 
which catechists never learn at present. 

'6. If any congregation wishes for a stationary preacher, 
one of these ministers to be given them, and they to stipu- 
late to maintain him. 

' 7. A printing press to be united with this institution. 

' 8. Baptism to be administered wherever a true convic- 
tion of sin, and a belief in God our Saviour, appears ; 


a promise to be exacted that such persons will be ready 
to suffer persecution for Christ, if necessary. 

' 9. A closer communion to be established among real 
converts, by means o{ a frequent enjoyment of the Lord's 
Supper, granted only to such.' 

From i8c6 to 18 ro Ringeltaube carried on an active 
evangelistic work in Tinnevelly, with Palamcottah as his 
centre, paying also frequent visits to Travancore. Tinne- 
velly at this time contained about 5,coo Christians, under 
the care of native agents supported by the Society for 
Promoting Christian Knowledge. Ringeltaube worked 
much at first among these people. His method here and 
at Travancore was rapid itineration. In 1810 Oodiagherry 
became his centre of work, and in 1812 Mayiladi. In 1812 
Ringeltaube's health began to fail. In 1816 he retired 
from the mission and went to Ceylon, and sailed thence 
intending to go to the Cape of Good Hope. Then he 
suddenly disappears, and is never more heard of. As a 
letter is extant, written from Colombo, stating that his 
liver was severely attacked, and as he is known to have 
sailed from Malacca, the most probable explanation is that 
he died and was buried at sea between Malacca and 
Batavia\ Of how or where his life closed no exact 
record appears to exist. He vanishes from the Society's 
story and work in a way which both arouses the desire to 
know more of him, and also fits in well with the unusual 
character of his previous career. The foundation of the 
Travancore Mission is inseparably linked with his name. 

'This founder of our Travancore Mission was an able 
but eccentric man. He laboured devotedly, assiduously, 
and wisely for the conversion of the heathen and the edifi- 
cation of the Christian converts. Those whose motives 
appeared worldly and selfish were rejected by him, and all 
professing Christians were warned and instructed as to the 
spiritual character of the religion of Christ, and the per- 
manent obligation of all relative and social duties. He was 
most generous and unselfish in regard to money, and is 
' See the Chronicle, 1 8S9, p. 1 0. 


said to have distributed the whole of his quarter's salary 
almost as soon as it reached his hands. His labours were 
abundantly blessed, and his memory is precious and greatly 
honoured in connection with the foundation of this now 
flourishing native Christian Church \' 

Prior to Ringeltaube's departure a successor. Mr. Charles 
Mead, had been appointed. He reached Madras, in com- 
pany with Richard Knill, in August, 1816, but, owing to 
illness and to the death of his wife, did not arrive at Nagercoil 
until 18 1 8. In September of the same year Knill rejoined 
Mead, having determined to find in Travancore his sphere 
of service. For two years the mission had been in sole 
charge of a catechist appointed by Ringeltaube, and he 
had done much good and useful work. There were when 
Ringeltaube departed about seven chief centres of work 
with chapels, five or six schools, and about 900 converts 
and candidates for baptism. This was no mean record for 
less than thirteen years of labour. 

The Travancore British Resident in 1818 was Colonel 
Munro, an active friend of the missionary enterprise. Mead 
and Knill established their head quarters at Nagercoil, four 
miles from Mayiladi. Munro procured from the Ranee ^ a 
bungalow for the missionaries, and a sum of 5,000 rupees, 
with which rice-fields were purchased, as an endowment for 
education. From this source, ever since 1819, the income 
of the English seminary has been derived. Munro, also 
probably in the effort to aid the funds of the mission, 
secured the appointment of Mr. Mead at Nagercoil as civil 
judge. Ten years earlier the Directors would have seen 
little or nothing anomalous in this. Now, although Mr. Mead 
held the appointment for a year, and discharged the duties 
so as to win the gratitude of the natives on the one hand, 
and to secure the external success of the mission on the 
other, the Board constrained him to resign the post. 

' These early missionaries entered upon the work with 
great spirit and enterprise. A printing press was soon 
established. The seminary for the training of native youths 
1 The Land of Chai-ity,^. 265. - The Queen Consort. 


was opened, and plans prayerfully laid and diligently 
carried out for the periodical visitation of the congrega- 
tions and villages. The congregation at Nagcrcoil alone 
numbered now about 300, and a large chapel for occasional 
united meetings at the head station being urgently required, 
the foundation was laid by Mr. Knill on New Year's Day, 
1 81 9. Striking evidence of the strong faith and hope of 
these early labourers is seen in the noble dimensions of the 
chapel, the erection of which they then commenced. It is, 
perhaps, the largest church in South India, measuring 
inside 127 feet in length by 60 feet wide, and affording 
accommodation for nearly 2,000 persons, seated, according 
to Hindu custom, on the floor. Had this fine building not 
been erected, we should have in later years grievously felt 
the lack of accommodation for the great aggregate mis- 
sionary and other special meetings of Christian people, 
which we are now privileged to hold within its walls \' 

' During the two years after Mead and Knill's arrival, 
about 3,coo persons, chiefly of the Shanar caste, placed 
themselves under Christian instruction, casting away their 
images and emblems of idolatry, and each presenting a 
written promise declarative of his renunciation of idolatry 
and determination to serve the living and true God. Some 
of these doubtless returned to heathenism when they under- 
stood the spiritual character and comprehensive claims of 
the Christian religion, but most remained faithful and 
increasingly attached to their new faith. There were now 
about ten village stations, most of which had churches, 
congregations, and schools, all of them rapidly increasing. 
Native catechists were employed to preach and teach, and 
these teachers met the missionaries periodically for instruc- 
tion and improvement in divine things. 

' And now the tide of popular favour flowed in upon 
the missionaries. Not only did their message commend 
itself to the consciences of the hearers, but there was doubt- 
less in many instances a mixture of low and inferior motives 
in embracing the profession of Christianity. The mission- 

1 The Land of Charity, p. 269. 


aries were the friends of the Resident, and connected with 
the great and just British nation. Hopes were perhaps 
indulged that they might be wiUing to render aid to their 
converts in times of distress and oppression, or advice in 
circumstances of difficulty. Moreover, the temporal bless- 
ings which Christianity everywhere of 7iecessiiy cor\i&xs,, \n 
the spread of education and enlightenment, liberty, civiliza- 
tion, and social improvement, were exemplified to all in 
the case of the converts already made. The kindness of 
the missionaries, too, attracted multitudes who were accus- 
tomed to little but contempt and violence from the higher 
classes, and who could not but feel that the Christian 
teachers were their best and real friends. What were 
these to do with those who thus flocked to the profession 
of Christianity ? Receive them to baptism and member- 
ship with the Christian Church, or recognize them as true 
believers, they could not and did not ; but gladly did they 
welcome them as hearers and learners of God's word. 
The missionaries rejoiced to think that the influence for 
good which they were permitted to exert, and the prestige 
attached to the British nation in India, were providentially 
given them to be used for the highest and holiest pur- 
poses. They did not hesitate, therefore, to receive to 
Christian instruction even those who came from mixed 
motives, unless they were evidently hypocrites or impostors. 
And from time to time, as these nominal Christians, or 
catechumens, appeared to come under the influence of the 
power of godliness, and as the instructions afforded them 
appeared to issue in their true conversion and renewed 
character, such were, after due examination and probation, 
received into full communion with the Christian Church. 
Their children, too, came under instruction at the same 
time in the mission schools, and became the Christian pro- 
fessors and teachers of the next generation ^.' 

3. ViZAGAPATAM. This important city, with a popula- 
tion of about 30,000, the chief town of a district of the same 

^ The Land of Charity, pp. 267-268. 
II. D 


name, is on the eastern coast of India, 400 miles north of 
Madras, in the district known as the ' Northern Circars.' 
Telugu is spoken, the tongue of from fifteen to twenty 
millions. Work here began in 1805. George Cran and 
Augustus Des Granges, the only members of the first com- 
pany of workers for South India left in Madras after the com- 
mencement of the Ceylon and Travancore Missions, decided 
not to stay in Madras, but to take up work at Vizagapatam. 
The statement is made that Vizagapatam was chosen 
because of advice to that effect given by Carey to Mr. Hard- 
castle, with whom he kept up a regular correspondence ^ 
There is also evidence that the first missionaries realized 
what very difficult mission-fields the large cities of India 
are, and that their call was to work among the natives. 
However this may be, Cran and Des Granges were wel- 
comed by many of the European residents at Vizagapatam, 
and were invited to conduct English services in the Fort, 
for which they received a monthly salary from the governor. 
They also conducted services during the week for both 
Europeans and natives ; and they opened a school for 
native children, the first three scholars being the sons 
of a Brahman. By November, 1806, a mission house had 
been completed, which cost, together with the site, 3,000 
rupees. They then opened a ' Charity ' School for Eura- 
sian children, taking some of them as boarders. Towards 
this they received 1,300 rupees from residents and subscrip- 
tions for the support of the children. The two missionaries 
gave themselves with great diligence to the study of the 
language, and by constantly meeting and conversing with 
the natives, notwithstanding many disadvantages, made 
rapid progress in its attainment. They also began the task 
of translating the Bible into Telugu, and prepared two 
or three tracts. In these manifold and arduous labours they 
were greatly aided by a converted Brahman, Anandarayer 
by name, one of the most remarkable of the early Indian 
converts. The experience of this man is of exceptional 
interest, as he was the first Brahman converted in India by 

' Life and Letters of Carey, Marshtnati, and Ward, :\A. i. p. 395. 


a member of the London Missionary Society. Cran and 
Des Granges sent home the following account of this 
remarkable and encouraging event : — 

' A Mahratean, or Bandida Brahman, about thirty years 
of age, was an accountant in a regiment of Tippoo's 
troops ; and, after his death, in a similar employment under 
an English officer. Having an earnest desire to obtain 
eternal happiness, he was advised by an elder Brahman to 
repeat a certain prayer /icz^r Imndred thousand times ! This 
severe task he undertook, and performed it in a pagoda, 
together with many fatiguing ceremonies, taking care to 
exceed the number prescribed. After six months, deriving 
no comfort at all from these laborious exercises, he re- 
solved to return to his family at Nosom, and live as before. 
On his way home, he met with a Roman Catholic Chris- 
tian, who conversed with him on religious subjects, and 
gave him two books on the Christian religion, in the 
Telinga ' language, to read. These he perused with much 
attention, admired their contents, and resolved to make 
further inquiries into the religion of Christ ; and, if satis- 
fied, to accept of it. He was then recommended to a 
Roman priest, who, not choosing to trust him too much, 
required him to go home to his relations, and to return 
again to his wife. He obeyed this direction ; but found 
all his friends exceedingly surprised and alarmed by his 
intention of becoming a Christian, and thus bringing re- 
proach upon his caste. To prevent this, they offered him 
a large sum of money, and the sole management of the 
family estate. These temptations, however, made no 
impression on him. He declared that he preferred the 
salvation of his soul to all worldly considerations ; and even 
left his wife behind him, who was neither inclined nor 
permitted to accompany him. He returned to the priest, 
who still hesitating to receive him as a convert, he offered 
to deliver up his Brahman thread, and to cut off his hair — 
after which no Brahman can return to his caste. The 
priest perceiving his constancy, and satisfied with his 
' Now called Telugu. 
D 3 


sincerity, instructed, and afterwards baptized him : upon 
which, his heathen name, Snbbaraycr, was changed to his 
present Christian name, Auandarayer. 

• A few months after this, the priest was called away to 
Goa ; and having just received a letter from a Padree, at 
Pondicherry, to send him a Telinga Brahman, he advised 
Anandarayer to go thither ; informing him, that there he 
would find a larger congregation, and more learned Padrees ; 
by whom he would be further instructed, and his thirst 
for knowledge be much gratified. When he arrived at 
Pondicherry, he felt disappointed, in many respects ; yet 
there he had the pleasure of meeting his wife, who had 
suffered much among her relations, and at last formed the 
resolution of joining him. He then proceeded to Tran- 
quebar, having heard that there was another large congre- 
gation, ministers, schools, the Bible translated, with many 
other books, and no images in tJieir dmrcJies. which he 
always much disliked, and had even disputed with the 
Roman priests on their impropriety. The worthy ministers 
at Tranquebar were at first suspicious of him ; but, by 
repeated conversations with him, during several months 
that he resided among them, they were well satisfied with 
him, and admitted him to the Lord's Table. He was 
diligent in attending their religious exercises, and particu- 
larly in the study of the Bible, which he had never seen 
before. He began to make translations from the Tamil 
into the Telinga language, which he writes elegantly, as 
well as the Mahratta. His friends would readily have 
recommended him to some secular employment at Madras 
or Tanjore, but he declined their offers, being earnestly 
desirous of employment only in the service of the 

' Having heard of the missionaries at Vizagapatam, he 
expressed a strong desire to visit them, hoping that he 
might be useful among the Telinga nation, either in church 
or school. This his desire is likely to be gratified, the 
missionaries having every reason to be satisfied with his 
character ; and, upon their representation, the Directors of 


the Missionary Society have authorized them to employ 
him, and to allow him a competent salary. 

'A gentleman, who knew him well, says: "Whatever 
our Lord Jesus requires of His followers, he has readily 
performed. He has left wife, mother, brother, sister, his 
estate, and other advantages which were offered to him, 
and has taken upon himself all the reproaches of the 
Brahman caste ; and has been beaten by some of the 
heathen^ to whom he spake on Christianity; and still bears 
the marks of their violence on his forehead. He declined 
complaining of it, and bore it patiently." ' 

The assistance of so intelligent a convert as Anandarayer 
was a great help to the missionaries in translation work, 
and by January 20, 1809, Des Granges could write home, 
' The Gospels of Matthew and Luke are complete in 
manuscript, and have gone through the first correction. 
The Gospels of Mark and John are begun. I have now 
four Brahmans engaged in this service. Anandarayer 
takes the lead ; the others are all transcribers.' On April 15, 
1809, an entry in Des Granges' journal runs: 'The trans- 
lation of Matthew may now be pronounced complete ; it 
has gone through many corrections. This evening de- 
livered two copies, one for the Rev. D. Brown, of Calcutta, 
and one for the brethren at Serampore. Wrote also to 
them.' On May 16, itSio, he writes : ' The Gospel of Luke 
in the Telinga language was completed this day. and sent 
off to the Corresponding Committee of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society in Calcutta.' The four Gospels in 
Telugu were printed at Serampore, whither Anandarayer had 
gone to superintend their passing through the press, in 18 1 i . 
Through the Auxiliary which had been formed in Calcutta, 
the British and Foreign Bible Society in 18 10 granted 
a sum of ;^2,ooo to be devoted to Indian Bible translation 
work during the years 1811, 1812, and 181 3, half to go to the 
Serampore Mission, and half to the other agencies in India 
engaged in this work. Out of this grant the cost of print- 
ing the first edition of the Gospels in Telugu was met. 

Neither of these pioneers in the Vizagapatam Mission 


was long spared to this field of labour. Cran died 
January 6, iJSop, at Chicacole, whither he had gone in 
search of health. Des Granges died July 12, 1810. The 
Directors in 1H05 and 1806 made strenuous efforts to 
reinforce the South Indian Missions. In January, 1807, 
John Gordon and William Lee had sailed for India via 
New York. There they were detained for a long time, 
and finally landed at Calcutta in September, 1809. Lee 
reached Vizagapatam in December, 1809, and Gordon in 
March, 1810. The deaths of Cran and Des Gran|;es were 
a great loss to the mission, and very depressing to the 
new-comer. Both seem to have been men far above the 
average, both were devoted evangelists, and the latter had 
in him the making of a first-rate Biblical scholar. Lee 
and Gordon carried on the work jointly until the close of 
1 81 2, when Lee went to Ganjam to open up new work 
there. After about five years' labour, owing to ill-health, 
Mr. and Mrs. Lee returned to Madras, the mission at 
Ganjam was closed, and at the end of 1817 they returned 
to England and retired from service. Gordon at Vizaga- 
patam had been encouraged by the arrival of a colleague, 
Mr. Edward Pritchett. He, in company with Mr. J. C. 
Brain, had been sent to Rangoon, in 18 10, to found 
a mission in Burmah. But war had broken out there, and 
Mr. Brain died a iew months after landing. Pritchett 
returned to Madras, and settled at Vizagapatam in 
November, 1811. Anandarayer had rendered Mr. Gordon 
most valuable services in translation work and in the 
mastery of Telugu, services similar to those which he 
had previously rendered to Des Granges. Gordon de- 
voted himself to the completion of the New Testament. 
The services in the town were maintained, and a school 
for girls was established under the care of Mrs. Gordon 
and Mrs. Des Granges. Gordon and Pritchett also itine- 
rated ' thrice a week ' among the neighbouring villages. 
But sickness was frequent, and greatly hindered the work 
of the mission. In November, 1814, Mrs. Gordon died. 
She was described as ' truly pious, amiable, and useful.' 


In 1 81 5 James Dawson joined the mission, and continued 
there in active service until his death in 1832. In 181 K 
the first complete Telugu New Testament was printed at 
Madras. The labour of revision and the completion of 
the version was the work of Mr. Pritchett. It was printed 
through the Calcutta Auxiliary of the Bible Society, who 
submitted the translation to experts in Madras, and upon 
their favourable report granted paper for 2,000 copies. 
These were printed in Madras under Mr. Pritchett's super- 
vision during the latter half of 1818. 

The conditions of mission-work during these early years 
are briefly put in a letter from Gordon and Pritchett written 
in 1813 : 'We wish it were in our power to send you 
tidings of conversion among these heathen, but it is our 
lot to labour in a stubborn soil. But let none despair of 
success in the end, nor yet suppose that nothing has been 
done ; for at least the minds of multitudes are dissatisfied 
in the vicinity of Vizagapatam ; many have acknowledged 
themselves convinced of the evil and folly of their ways ; 
and some that they are Christians at heart but afraid to 
confess it openly. Were it not for the unequalled timidity 
of this people, by which they are terrified at the thought of 
losing caste, and at its consequent inconveniences, we have 
no doubt we should have many converts. No converts can 
be gained, not even to a tolerable profession of Christianity, 
but such as have courage to forsake father and mother, and 
everything dear to them in this world, and fortitude and 
humility enough to live despised by all whose good opinion 
nature itself would lead them to value.' 

4. Madras. No one of the original party of five who 
landed at Tranquebar in December, 1804, remained in 
the chief city of South-Eastern India. Dr. Taylor and 
W. Loveless had been sent out to found a mission at 
Surat. Dr. Taylor went on to Bengal, and on his return 
to Madras both were to go to Surat. Taylor never reached 
Surat, and Loveless by an unexpected series of events was 
led to settle in Madras. 


In Madras, as early as 1726, a mission under the care of 
Schultze had been originated, chiefly by the aid aff'orded 
from the funds of the Christian Knowledge Society. But 
by the close of the eighteenth century the mission, under 
injudicious management, had fallen into disrepute. The 
English community was characterized by an almost utter 
neglect of both religion and morality. Hough, in his 
History of Christianity in India^, states : ' The Lord's Day 
was so disregarded that few persons ever thought of at- 
tending church. The only exceptions were Christmas and 
Easter, when it was customary for most persons to go to 
church. The natives looked upon these festivals as the 
gentlemen's p?ijahs, somewhat like their own idolatrous 
feasts. Every other Sabbath in the year was set apart as 
the great day of amusement and dissipation.' Dr. Kerr, 
a chaplain of great spirituality and earnestness, also wrote 
of this period : ' If ten sincere Christians would save the 
whole country from fire and brimstone, I do not know 
where they could be found in the Company's civil and 
military service in the Madras establishment.' 

At this time there were great difficulties in Madras in 
the way of Christian work among the natives. Loveless 
was in India only on sufferance, the Government influence 
was entirely hostile to the evangelization of the natives, 
and Ringeltaube's opinion, that great cities were most un- 
satisfactory as missionary fields of labour, applied then 
with special force to Madras. Hence Loveless was prac- 
tically compelled to devote himself largely to the needs 
of European residents. He was, however, instrumental in 
founding two large schools, and in originating the Madras 
Bible and Tract Societies. 

Early in his residence in Madras, and while Cran and 
Des Granges were still there, by the advice of Mr. Toriano, 
and through the influence of Dr. Kerr, the chaplain at 
Fort St. George, Loveless assumed the oversight of the 
Male Orphan Asylum. In this way he became self- 
supporting. A few years later he purchased a piece of 

' Vol. iv. p. 136. 


land in Black Town, and built Davidson Street Church, 
which was opened for worship in 1810. This building has 
ever since been a centre of spiritual life and inspiration. 
A writer in the Indian missionary paper Forivard. for 

1893, s^ys '■ — 

' If the old walls of Davidson Street could repeat what 
they have heard, what " notes of holier days " we now 
might hear. Hall and Nott, the first American missionaries 
to Bombay, held service here. Ringeltaube, in 18 15, in 
a " very ordinary costume " — for he had no coat to his 
back, and wore a nondescript straw hat of country make — 
preached here his last sermon in India. After which he 
went on his mysterious mission to the eastward, and is 
supposed to have been murdered in Malayan jungles. 
John Hands, ill from overwork in Bellary. came to Madras 
to recruit himself by change of work. His fervid preaching 
attracted the multitude, and caused such a ferment in the 
place, that three young men went to the chapel one night 
with the avowed purpose of stoning him. The word, how- 
ever, arrested them, and they departed ashamed, humbled 
and penitent ; one of the three became a missionary in 
after years. Richard Knill helped on the good work 
begun by Mr. Loveless, but his service came to a sudden 
end by illness. It was always a great day when new 
arrivals from home came to the chapel. They had to 
preach as a matter of course, and in these occasional ser- 
vices occur the names of Henry Townley, Charles Mead, 
William Reeve, James Keith, and others whose record of 
noble service is " written in heaven." ' 

In 1 81 6 Richard Knill reached Madras, but failure 
of health sent him to Travancore. A manuscript in 
Knill's handwriting exists, giving a history of these 
early Madras days. In it he says : ' For many years 
Loveless received no pecuniary aid from the Society. 
Providence so favoured him that he now liberally sup- 
ports it. This is as it ought to be. This is what every 
real minister will do, if he can, but every missionary has 
not the opportunity. His boarding school, which is very 


respectable, and in which his excellent wife takes a very 
active and labouring part, affords him a sufficiency to 
support his own family, and to do good to others. It 
enables him also to give an affectionate and hearty 
welcome to the servants of Christ on their arrival in 
India, many of whom have found his house as the shadow 
of a great rock in a weary land. No missionary on his 
arrival in Madras should go to an inn for accommodation 
while Loveless is alive.' 

A simple-minded, humble, devoted pastor, teacher and 
administrator, was the man who, contrary to his own antici- 
pations, thus became a pioneer of the Madras Mission. 
Mr. Loveless, on the failure of his health in i'S24, returned 
to England and shortly afterwards severed his connection 
with the Society. Under his care the mission, in which 
as preacher, evangelist to the natives, superintendent of 
education, and active agent in the preparation and spread 
of Christian literature, he had sj^ent nearly twenty years, 
had been established upon a sound and serviceable basis. 

5. Bellary. The foundations deep and lasting of the 
Bellary Mission were laid by a man whose name must ever 
stand very high upon the roll of South Indian missionary 
workers — the Rev. John Hands. He was born at Roade in 
Northamptonshire in 17^0, studied at Gosport under 
Bogue, and sailed for India in 1H09. He reached Madras 
in February, i^^io. He had been destined for Seringa- 
patam, but all efforts to get a footing there proved fruitless. 
Finally, with great difficulty, and only by the personal 
efforts of one of the chaplains, permission was obtained 
from the Government for Mr. Hands to settle at Bellary. 
This town, also the centre of a great district of the same 
name, lies north-west of Madras in the centre of the penin- 
sula, about midway between Madras and Goa. Here the 
missionaries came into touch with people speaking a third 
great language — Canarese. Telugu and Tamil are also 
spoken in parts. Recognizing it as the missionary's 
prime duty to acquire as perfectly as possible the tongue 


of the people he comes to benefit, Hands gave his days 
and nights to the study of Canarese. Thei'e were no 
dictionaries or grammars, nor was any Anandarayer avail- 
able. He therefore set about making for himself the 
necessary helps. In icSia a grammar and vocabulary were 
commenced, and a version of the first three Gospels com- 
pleted. In the same year a church, consisting of twenty- 
seven European and East Indian residents, was formed. 
A native school and also a ' charity ' school for ' the educa- 
tion, and when necessary the support, of European and 
East Indian children were established.' 

In i(Si2 Mr. J. Thompson, intended as the colleague of 
Mr. Hands, landed at Madras, but as he did not hold the 
permit of the East India Company — and this, it is needless 
to state, at that juncture would not have been given 
— he was ordered to leave the country. While preparing 
to obey he was seized with illness, and died. In ]Hi3 
Mr. Hands decided to make the instruction in the school 
more distinctly Christian. To this at first the native oppo- 
sition was very strong, and many children were taken away. 
But he persevered, the children returned, and soon a second 
school was required. In 1 H 1 5 he visited the annual festival 
held at Humpi, at which about 200,000 natives used to 
assemble. On this occasion the practice on the part of 
the missionary and his native helpers of preaching at the 
festival was begun, a practice which has been followed ever 
since. Long itinerating journeys for preaching and dis- 
tributing tracts were undertaken. In 1815 a Tract Society 
was formed. In i(Si6 Mr. W. Reeve arrived as the colleague 
of Mr. Hands. In i(Si9 the first native convert was received 
into the Church. 

6. SuRAT. Although this spot figured in the first paper 
on desirable missions presented to the Society in 1795, it 
was 1815 before work was actually begun. Surat is in the 
Bombay Presidency, some distance north of Bombay itself. 
In 1804 Loveless and Taylor, who had been appointed to 
commence the mission, reached Madras ; but the former, as 


we have seen, spent all his missionary life in that city, and 
the latter — the first medical missionary sent to India by 
the Society — wasted some years over real or fancied illness, 
and finally forsook the Society for a Government appoint- 
ment. The mission was ultimately commenced by the 
Rev. J. Skinner and the Rev. W. Fyvie. 

This sketch of pioneer work in South India may be not 
inappropriately closed by an extract from the Report of 
the Society for 1819 : 'From the history of Protestant 
missions in India, particularly during the last few years, it 
is evident that a spirit of inquiry has pervaded no incon- 
sidei;able portion of its inhabitants ; that the most obstinate 
and inveterate prejudices are dissolving ; that the craft of the 
Brahminical system is beginning to be detected and its 
terrors despised, even by the Hindoos themselves ; that the 
chains of caste, by which they have been so long bound, 
are gradually loosening ; and that considerable numbers 
have absolutely renounced their cruel and degrading super- 
stitions, and. at least externally, embraced the profession of 
Christianity. The renunciation of heathenism by numbers 
of the natives of Travancore, their professed reception of 
Christianity, the sanction and assistance given to the 
labours of Christian missionaries by the local authorities, 
and the translation of the Scriptures into the vernacular 
language of the country are circumstances which appear to 
justify the hope that the Almighty, in His designs of mercy 
towards India, is about to communicate the blessings of 
pure religion to the inhabitants of this most southern 
portion of the peninsula. 

' To these highly important facts we add the countenance 
afforded to Christian missions by the British authorities. 
Not only are the labours of missionaries aided by many of 
the Company's chaplains, but even by many pious officers 
in the army, and also by numerous European residents who 
contribute liberally, and who aid the work by personal 
counsel and exertion. So great has been the change in 
India within a few years, that a judge lately returned from 
that country declares that " individuals who left it some 


years since, and brought home the prevalent notions of that 
day, can form no just estimate of the state of things nozu 
existing in India." ' 

This estimate must, of course, be understood as applying 
only to that section of the population which came under 
the influence of the missionaries, and which formed 
only a microscopical proportion of the people of the 

[Ai'THOKlTlES. — Letters and Official Reports ; Trntisaciioiis of the Society, 
vols, ii-iv.l 



Reference has already been made to the work of 
Nathaniel Forsyth and of Robert May\ Did space permit, 
it would be a pleasant task to describe in some detail the 
work in Calcutta of Kiernander and the influence of the 
Serampore Mission, and to indicate the powerful stimulus 
given to Christian work over Northern India by such 
devoted chaplains of the East India Company as Brown, 
Buchanan, Corrie, and Henry Martyn. 

The removal in 1813 of Government restriction upon 
missionary labour led to an immediate development of 
Christian enterprise in CALCUTTA. The Directors of the 
London Missionary Society at once resolved to found 
a mission there, and for this purpose appointed the Rev. 
Henry Townley, with the Rev. J. Keith as his colleague. 
They reached Calcutta in September, 1816, and conducted 
services at first in the Freemasons' Hall, and then for 
a time in the Presbyterian Church, kindly lent to them by 
the minister, Dr. Bryce. They founded three schools, did 
a large amount of evangelistic work among the natives, 
and established, first at Chinsurah and then at Calcutta, 
a press for printing Bengali and English books and tracts. 
Mr. Townley also took a very active part in raising the 
funds for, and in superintending, the building of Union 
Chapel. For this building, which cost about ;!^4,oco, nearly 
the whole sum was collected in India itself. The foundation 

' ijee Chapter II. 


stone was laid in May, 1820, and the building was completed 
in April, 1831. Within three months of the opening 
services the total cost had been defrayed. 

From 1815 to 1825 there was extraordinary activity 
and growth in missionary enterprise in and around Calcutta. 
The Serampore Mission was in full work, the Church 
Missionary Society, the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel, the Baptist and the London Societies were all 
most energetic. Many auxiliary Societies were initiated, 
and when Mr. Tyerman and Mr. Bennet visited Calcutta 
in 1826, they say in their report: 'By the concurrent 
testimony of all ranks and parties, the change for the 
better in India within twenty-five years has been sur- 
prisingly great in both the manners and practices of natives 
and Europeans. Irreligious persons acknowledge the 
change, and confess it has been a good thing to have 
such an increase of ministers and churches in Bengal and 
the North-West. The truly serious acknowledge that this 
amelioration has resulted from Divine Providence having 
disposed Christian people to send out so many pious and 
devoted missionaries, who have borne faithful scriptural 
testimony against vice and ignorance, whether in natives 
or Europeans, and in favour of truth and piety.' 

These important and hopeful results had been brought 
about, so far as the London Missionary Society was 
concerned, by the labours chiefly of Henry Townley, 
James Keith, John David Pearson, Samuel Trawin, George 
Mundy, and George Gogerly. Other workers who were 
spared for only a brief period of service were John Hampson 
and W. H. Bankhead. Micaiah Hill, James Hill, and 
J. B. Warden reached Calcutta in 1822. 

Although a foothold had been gained in India in 1813 
for the Christian missionary which has never since been 
lost, the East India Company still exerted much of its 
powerful influence to the detriment of missions. Before 
a passage could be taken the missionary was compelled to 
take out from the India House a special licence, and to 
find security to the amount of ^^500 for good behaviour in 


India, and as a guarantee that nothing should be done to 
weaken British authority there. Upon landing the mis- 
sionary found that both Government officials and European 
residents looked askance at him. As a rule his presence 
was a rebuke to much in their own lives, and they both 
did all in their power to belittle the missionary in the 
eyes of the natives. To these they were described as low- 
caste people, quite unequal to conversing with Brahmans 
or even teaching Siidras. While at this period, i(S20, there 
were in Calcutta two Episcopal Churches, two Roman 
Catholic, one Presbyterian, one Greek, and one Armenian, 
there was only one Nonconformist place of worship, in Bow 
Bazaar, where a tiny congregation of European and country- 
born Christians were ministered to by preachers from Seram- 
pore. While idol temples abounded, and idolatry of the 
most disgusting character was rampant, absolutely nothing 
had hitherto been done to bring the Gospel to the natives. 
The Government almost ostentatiously disregarded Sunday, 
outdoor work of building and other kinds being carried on 
upon that exactly as upon other days. The Government 
were dominated by the fear that Christianity, opposed as 
it necessarily was to caste and Hindu custom, would excite 
the fears and prejudices of the Hindus, and lead them to 
acts of violence against British rule. So far was this 
carried that a nominally Christian Government would not 
allow a Christian native to enter the Indian army. This 
unfounded fear, especially in the minds of the Government 
officials at Calcutta, had been greatly stimulated by the 
Vellore Mutiny in i(So6, which had been, erroneously, 
attributed by many to the spread of Christianity among 
the natives. It was this panic that led to imperative pro- 
hibitions against the landing of missionaries, and did much 
to bring about the great reform of 1813. On the other 
hand, at this period, all over India subject to their rule, the 
Government were indirectly subsidising idolatry, and aided 
the officials of Hinduism to collect their idolatrous dues. 
The most scandalous example of this kind was the placing 
of the temple of Juggernat under the charge of the State, 

William Bl-yers 

J. E. Payxe 


and thus practically constituting it a Government institu- 

In Bengal the Brahmans, who form the highest caste, are 
divided into three orders, of which the Kulin is the highest. 
Originally these were orthodox Brahmans, meek, learned, 
eager to visit holy places, ascetic, liberal. The lower 
ranks of Brahmans eagerly desire to attain this rank, and 
can do so only by marrying their daughters to a Kulin 
Brahman. This custom has led to a wide-spread and de- 
grading profligacy. A considerable dowry is given at the 
marriage, the wife usually remaining at her father's house. 
The Brahman often marries into forty or fifty different 
families, and spends his life in going from home to home 
among his many wives, honoured as a god, and all the 
while living a life of sloth and debauchery that would 
disgrace a beast. So great is the desire to marry Kulin 
Brahmans, that age, disease, and deformity are no barriers 
to marriage. While not the most caste-ridden district in 
India, Bengal has nevertheless all through the century been 
rendered a hard mission-field by the power and resistance, 
both active and passive, of this terrible, dehumanizing 

George Gogerly reached Calcutta in 1819 to superintend 
the printing press. He was energetic and able, and was 
largely and liberally aided by the Religious Tract Society, 
and at once printed and circulated large numbers of tracts 
and of school-books. The absence of any place of worship 
was a serious drawback. The first building used was in 
Manicktulla Road, and \vas constructed of bamboos and 
mats with a thatched roof. Here Mr. Keith and Mr. Gogerly 
preached three times a week. Here too they were on one 
occasion assailed by some religious ascetics, stoned and 
driven from the building. It was to supply the need 
of an appropriate centre of work that Union Chapel was 
built. Soon after a member of Union Chapel presented 
the Society with a freehold site at Kidderpore, upon which 
a chapel and a schoolroom were speedily built. Two other 
bungalow chapels were also opened in other quarters of 

II. E 


Calcutta. In these quiet unpretentious ways the Society 
began its share in the task of winning the myriads of 
Calcutta to the Gospel of forgiveness and of deliverance 
from sin. 

At Calcutta, as at all Indian stations frequented by 
Europeans, in addition to work for Hindus, the missionaries 
felt bound to do what they could for the evangelization of 
their fellow-countrymen. The scandalous orgies of both 
sailors and soldiers outraged at times Hindu sentiment, and 
the immoral heathenism of not a few so-called Christians 
was a standing reproach, and caused the Hindus to blas- 
pheme the Gospel which the missionaries preached. To 
facilitate Christian work among the multitudes of sailors 
visiting the port of Calcutta, a Bethel Society and Sailors' 
Home was established by Mr. Gogerly, which, though only 
partially successful and short-lived, led later on to the 
founding of a strong Bethel Home by Dr. Boaz. The 
Hastings Church in the Cooly Bazaar originated in services 
carried on at this time in an officer's private quarters just 
outside the Fort, for the benefit of the soldiers. 

The losses sustained by the mission during the first ten 
or fifteen years through illness and death were very severe. 
This was due partly to the deadly climate of Bengal, partly 
to the pollution of the Ganges by the revolting customs of 
Hinduism. Within a brief period Mr. and Mrs, Hampson, 
Mr. and Mrs. Keith, Mr. and Mrs. Warden, Mr. Bankhead, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Harlc were all carried off by death. 
Mr. Tovvnley's health failed in 1823, and he returned to 
England. He died in ] 861, and upon that occasion the 
Directors placed on record their high appreciation of his 
services as the founder of the mission, the builder and first 
pastor of Union Chapel ; and they also stated that ' the 
entire expense of his passage, and that of his family, both 
outward and homeward, as well as his support during his 
stay in India, was entirely met from his own resources, 
a rare and noble offering to the cause of Christianity, 
amounting to several thousand pounds.' During the many 
years Mr. Townley lived after his return to England, he 


diligently and ably served the Society as a Director, and 
he frequently aided its work by generous contributions. 

Benares was occupied for the Society in 1820 by 
Mr. M. T. Adam, who commenced the mission there on 
August 6. The method followed was similar to that at 
Calcutta. Services were held whenever possible, individuals 
were encouraged to converse with the missionary, melas were 
visited, and in 1836 five schools were maintained. Christian 
work at Benares has proved very difficult and barren, but 
to the Deputation in 1826 the sacred city of India seemed 
a promising field : ' Benares, with its 650,000 inhabitants, 
Hindoos and Mahometans, in the proportion of five to 
one, appears to us a most important missionary station. 
It has also immense accessions of people when the pilgrim- 
ages are made and the festivals held. All these hundreds 
of thousands are accessible ; they will hear you, converse 
with you, argue with you, and, generally speaking, take 
your books and promise to read them. At their ghauts, in 
their bazaars, before the schools, congregations may be 
collected every day.' 

Berhampur was occupied in 1824, and in 1826 the 
Deputation found there Mr. Micaiah Hill, Mr. Ray, and 
Mrs. Warden. Messrs. Tyerman and Bennet, after their 
careful visitation in 1826 of all the stations in Calcutta, 
Kidderpore, Chinsurah, Berhampur, and Benares, sent home 
to the Directors a sober and yet a sanguine estimate of 
what had been and of what would be achieved. They 
note the improvement already wrought in the conduct of 
Europeans, and also the signs of a weakening of the tyranny 
of Hindu custom, but they overestimated the pace at 
which the improvement would go forward. Missionary 
organization and development were slower in Bengal and 
the North-West, and although the workers have been brave 
and devoted, the progress all through the century has been 
slower and less striking than in the South. 

[Authorities. — Letters and Official Reports; Transactions of the Society, 
vol. V ; Pioneers of the Bengal mission, by George Gogerly] 

E 2 



Each great centre in India occupied and worked by the 
Society affords material for a volume full of instruction 
and full of attraction to the student of missions, and to the 
disciple who is praying for the triumph of Christ's kingdom. 
But to trace in detail the full course of these many streams 
of blessing is impossible. The broad features of the work 
are alike in both Northern and Southern India ; but 
during the century Christianity found more fertile soil 
in the south among the low-caste section of the Tamil, 
Telugu, and Canarese countries, than along the valley of 
the Ganges ; it received a much more cordial welcome 
among the devil- worshippers of Travancore than among 
the haughty Muhammadans of the north. We shall, then, 
first trace the stream of Christian influence as it flows 
and broadens through Southern India. And it seems on 
reflection to be most satisfactory to allow the three great 
languages of Southern India to define the course taken by 

The celebration of the completion of the first twenty-five 
years' history of the Society gave a great impetus to the 
work in South India. The reports which had been sent 
home by Messrs. Tyerman and Bennet of their visits to 
the Indian stations, and the great influence of the latter 
on the Board for many years after his return, led to con- 
siderable development of the Society's work in India. 

I. Tamil Missions. This great Dravidian language, 
rich in the possession of a varied literature, is spoken 
along the whole south-eastern coast of India from Madras 
to Cape Comorin. It is the vernacular of about 15,000,000 


people. With the exception of South Travancore, all the 
chief stations where Tamil is spoken are in the Madras 

I. The Madras Mission. Madras, like the other great 
Indian cities, and especially the great ports, has always 
been a difficult centre for Christian work. Yet many of 
the great Societies have felt it imperative to maintain there 
a staff of workers, and have devoted much time and money 
to Christian service. Here, as in the case of Calcutta, it 
would be a pleasant task to indicate the good work which 
has been carried on there throughout the century by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Church 
Missionary Society, the Wesleyan, and many other Societies, 
and also to indicate the great and beneficial results achieved 
by the two great educational institutions under the care 
respectively of the Free and Established Churches of Scot- 
land. But we can deal only with the work of the London 
Missionary Society. 

In a missionary magazine entitled Forivard, edited by 
W. Robinson, and first issued by him at Salem in 1893, 
there is a graphic sketch of the course of the Madras 
Mission after Loveless returned to England :— 

' Before Mr. Loveless retired, the Directors of his Society 
greatly cheered him by sending out to Madras five mis- 
sionaries, four of whom were remarkable men. Crisp, 
Nicholson, Massie, Knill, Traveller, all laboured in Madras, 
and the results of their labour are still seen. With the 
exception of Nicholson, who was cut off by cholera in 
a few months after his arrival, the other missionaries did 
a noble work, and helped to make the historic past of the 
London Missionary Society. Like most men of strong 
individuality, Traveller and Massie went their own way, 
and it was not the way of the Directors at home. Traveller 
built Pursewaukum Chapel in an incredibly short time after 
his arrival in Madras. On the day he arrived the idea was 
mooted, and he took it up with red-hot enthusiasm ; he 
could not, like Mr. Loveless, be content to hasten slowly, 


and he went dead against the prejudices of certain Anglo- 
Indians. Probably if there had been less driving and more 
leading, things would have turned out more happily than they 
did. Mr. Traveller's connection with the Society ceased in 
1823, but it is significant to note that he ever remained its 
faithful helper, and took the warmest interest in its welfare. 

' Dr. Massie was simply a tornado let loose. He an- 
ticipated much of the later scheme of missionary higher 
education, but he was before his time, and would not wait 
until his ideas had taken root and fructified. His idea was 
to found a Christian University for India to be established 
at Bangalore, and he threw himself into the work of carry- 
ing it out with tireless energy. The difficulty is to find 
out where he did not go to secure subscriptions, for money 
poured in from all quarters. In those days of slow loco- 
motion and costly postage it was a record feat to have 
accomplished what he did for his Mysore College^. In 
other respects he was out of the common run of men — 
thus, he was married five times. " Last of all the man 
died also," but not before he had left behind an extra- 
ordinary impression of his indomitableness. Dr. R. VV. 
Hamilton once declared that the futility of resisting a 
certain measure was like attempting " to resist the rush 
of the Mississippi, or the impetuosity of Dr. Massie." 

' Edmund Crisp was a striking contrast to the brilliant 
but erratic men who were with him in Madras. His 
devotion to his work never flagged, and he excelled in all 
departments of it as pastor, preacher, theological tutor. 
From the Tamil Seminary at Bangalore he sent out some 
of the ablest native ministers the Tamil churches have had. 
He was in charge of Davidson Street until the Rev. J. Smith 
came out in 1828. John Smith was the brother of Mary 
Moffat, and had his sister's enthusiasm and love for 
missionary service. He soon had fruit to his labour ; the 
soldiers of the Cameronian Regiment liked his preaching, 
and some of them joined the church. A godly Sergeant- 
Major named Symonds opened his house in the Fort for 

' .'-'ee p. 105. 


morning and evening prayer ; from ten to twenty soldiers 
regularly attended the meeting, and this is but one evidence 
of the spiritual activity which abounded in the church. 

' Mr. Smith soon gathered round him an interesting band 
of young men of proved aptitude for spiritual work. The 
church has never been numerically strong, but its quality 
has been of the very best. In the fifteen years Mr. Smith 
had charge of it, the Church sent out the following mis- 
sionaries : — the Revs. J. Bilderbeck, J. Gordon, J. A. Regel. 
H. Bower, D.D.,W. Dawson, R. D. Johnston, C. E.Thomp- 
son, E. Marsden and others, who were valiant soldiers for 
the truth in South India. 

'In 1(^43 Mr. Smith went to an Ordination Service at 
Vizagapatam. Two of his students were set apart for work 
among the Telugu people. Mr. Smith embarked in the 
Favourite, a coasting boat, for Madras. It was a dangerous 
part of the year — the month of May — and the boat is sup- 
posed to have been overtaken by a cyclone. Nothing was 
heard of her or her passengers again. 

' William Porter has left the memory of his service deeply 
graven in the hearts of the people. His was an earnest, 
unobtrusive ministry. Singularly calm in judgment, warm 
and devout in feeling, he " Allured to brighter worlds and 
led the way." Other men have entered into his labours, 
but he is still remembered with great affection in Madras. 
Among Mr. Porters successors, the Rev. S. W. Organe, 
who took charge of the church in 1867, has been con- 
spicuous for his missionary devotion to the interests of 
Davidson Street. During his time the English Church, 
being self-supporting, ceased to be an integral part of the 
mission. The congregation has had much to contend 
against in the rivalry of other churches which have arisen. 
Black Town again has grown more and more the centre for 
mercantile offices, stores, and warehouses. The people 
have been driven into the suburbs, but they still cleave to 
the time-honoured chapel, believing that 

" Where saintly memories abide, 
Perpetual benediction falls." 


' The other church around which mission-work centred in 
Madras in these early days was Pursevvaukum, founded, as 
we have seen, by Mr. Traveller. When his connection with 
the mission ceased, the Rev. William Taylor succeeded to 
the oversight of the Tamil and English churches. He was 
an Oriental scholar, and the list of books and tracts he 
prepared in Tamil is formidable. He had large private 
means, and these he devoted liberally to the poor and to 
deeds of charity. In i(S34 he retired from the Society's 

'Taylor's successor was W. H. Drew, whose memory is 
held in grateful reverence by Christians all over South 
India. His ministry was blessed above that of most men. 
Under his fostering care the Tamil Church grew strong, 
and he had crowded congregations in Pursewaukum. 
William Drew went in and out among the people, and won 
them by his gentle goodness and his glowing piety. The 
call to rest came to him at Pulicat in 1856, where he was 
stricken by cholera. He had just time to reach his home 
in Vepery, and soon after " he was not," for God had 
taken him.' 

As early as 1H32 Mrs. Drew initiated girls' schools, and in 
later years her work was carried forward by Mrs. Porter. 
When the latter left in 1856, there were 98 girls in the 
boarding school, and 120 in the day schools. In 1834 
a school was begun in Black Town, and Mr. Drew tried, 
without success, to establish a mission there. 

Two remarkable men were at this time connected with 
the Madras Mission, but each only for a short period. 
John Bilderbeck, after being received into the Church at 
Black Town by Mr. Smith, after visiting England in 1831, 
was ordained and appointed to Madras. He laboured 
there during 1832 and 1833, and in the latter year removed 
to Chiltoon. In 1841 he resigned, and later on joined the 
Church Missionary Society. Robert Caldwell, B. A., was 
appointed to Madras in 1837, and from 1838 to 1841 was 
active in the work of the mission. In 1841 he joined 
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and for the 


next fifty years was famous among the great Indian mis- 
sionaries of that Society. In 1877 he became Bishop of 
TinneveJly, and he died at the Pulney Hills, South India, 
in August, 1 89 1. 

In 1851 the school in Black Town for native boys was 
established. It has ever since been known as the English 
Institution, because the instruction was given in English, 
and it has had a most successful history. The first superin- 
tendent was the Rev. F. Baylis, who began work there in 
September, 1851, By December, 1852, the number of pupils 
had mounted up to 220. Of these, 16^ were Hindus, six 
Muhammadans, thirty-one native Christians, and eighteen 
East Indians. The second annual report thus describes 
the work done : ' Besides a good amount of Scripture, the 
boys have studied history, geography, grammar, and other 
subjects to a considerable extent. Only those who have 
engaged in the work can fully realize the difficulty of 
communicating knowledge through the medium of a foreign 
language.' In 1853 Mr. Baylis was transferred to Neyoor; 
in April, 1854, the Rev. George Hall, B.A., took charge of 
the Institution. He had been transferred to Madras from 
Jamaica. Mr. Hall continued in charge until 1876, when 
ill health compelled the relinquishment of the work which 
for twenty-two years he had carried on with conspicuous 
success. In 1857 a native church in Black Town was 
formed in connection with the Institution, and in 1861 
Mrs. Hall established a high-caste girls' school in Vepery. 
The Rev. J. P. Ashton, M.A., who was appointed to Madras 
in 1 859, and who became associated with Mr. Hall in 1 860, 
taking sole charge of the Institution during Mr. Hall's 
furlough, has also placed on record in the columns of 
Forzvard his recollections of life and work in Madras and 
the Madras Presidency in the middle of the nineteenth 
century. Writing of the year i860, he says : — 

' Under Mr. Hall's able guidance, my work commenced in 
the Institution and the theological class, then half through 
its course of studies. It was a privilege, which I can never 
value too highly, to help those noble young men in their 


studies. My work in the Institution prevented my touring 
except in the winter vacation, but this sufificed to give me 
a good insight into that department of work. But the 
experience I thus gained, combined with my frequent 
visits to the schools in the Tripassore and Pulicat dis- 
tricts, filled my mind with the importance of the work 
and the great call for more labour in a semicircle of thirty- 
five miles' radius round Madras as the centre. The matter 
was brought before the Madras Missionary Conference, and 
a map was drawn of the district with a view to subdivision 
of the work among the missions. The grand example of 
Ragland, Fenn, and Meadows in North Tinnevelly was 
fresh in our minds, and great resolutions were taken ; but 
obstacles arose, and the enthusiastic proposer, left in sole 
charge of the Institution, Black Town Church work, and out- 
stations, was too much involved in other duties to lead 
the way. 

' The District Committee of those days was a curiosity. 
It consisted of Hay of Vizagapatam, Porter of Cuddapah, 
Addis of Coimbatore, and Hall of Madras, and no addi- 
tions of new men were allowed. It having been found that 
the brethren agreed better when apart than when together, 
no meeting had been permitted for a space of twelve years. 
All business was transacted by correspondence ; and in 
those days, when there were no railways, and Mr. Porter 
was ever on the move, a letter would take a week or two 
before it could overtake him in the district, and a circular 
seldom returned to head quarters under three months ; and 
if there was division of opinion, it might take another 
three months to go round again. This anomaly con- 
tinued, though several new men had arrived and new 
stations were in process of opening in the Coimbatore 
and Salem districts. When Mr. Hall went on furlough, 
Mr. Corbold acted as his substitute, but was not allowed 
to be a member. He and I felt that this anomaly ought 
not to continue, but there appeared to be no means of 

' In the meantime the students above referred to had 


been located in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Sunkerydrug, 
Tripatore, Tripassore, and elsewhere. Some prejudice was 
felt against these city men of high education, who were 
not so subservient as the worthy old catechists who were 
their predecessors. Corbold and I thought it would be a 
good plan to have a Conference of all the Tamil missionaries 
along with a gathering of these men for examination in 
a course of private study. Two of the best of the old 
set, Unmeiudian and Suviseshamutthu, were added to their 
number. The Directors favoured our plan, and we all 
had a happy and memorable meeting at Salem, in that 
grand old compound of ninety acres, in which the large 
Church, the Mission House, the two Boarding Schools, and 
the splendid Industrial School were situated.' 

Mr. Ashton's graphic picture of the South India District 
Committee of i860 must not be taken as applicable in any 
degree to the committee of recent days. For very many 
years the South India Committee has been the largest, the 
best organized, and the most business-like of the Society's 
Indian Committees. This is not due to deficiencies on 
the part of the other committees, but to the fact that the 
number and importance of the South Indian stations neces- 
sarily brings to that Committee a large number of able, 
experienced, and devoted men. 

The Report for 1870 gives the ten years' progress of 
the mission as follows: — In i860 the native church had 
twenty- nine members, in 1870 there were sixty- eight 
members, with the Rev. M. Cotelingam as native pastor. 
In i860 there was a theological class of eleven preparing 
for the native ministry; in 1870, of these three were 
ordained ministers and six evangelists; but in 1869 from 
financial reasons, but with a most mistaken conception of 
the true conditions and requirements of the work, the 
Directors discontinued this class. The 389 scholars in 
the Institution in i860 had by 1870 become 500; in i860 
there were no fees, in 1870 they realized 4,900 rupees. 

In January, 1862, the Rev. A. Corbold reached Madras. 
From 1851-60 he had laboured in the Gujerat Mission. 


He took charge of the Tamil Church at Pursewaukum and 
Mrs. Corbold of the Girls' Boarding School. In 1866 
Mr. Ashton was transferred to Calcutta. From 1867 to 
1871 Mrs. Whyte superintended the female educational 
work in connection with the high-caste school, and v.'as 
succeeded by Miss Gordon. In January, 1872, the Rev. T. E. 
Slater was transferred from Calcutta, where he had been 
engaged in the work of the Bhovvanipur Institution, to 
Madras. For three years he laboured in connection with the 
English Institution, together with the Rev. Henry Rice, 
and then gave himself to work among the educated 
natives. This, one of the later developments of mission- 
work, is assuming great importance in the chief centres 
of Hindu life. The work consists in visiting native 
gentlemen at their homes, and in receiving them at the 
missionary's home ; in holding meetings and classes for 
students and non-Christian teachers ; and in giving courses 
of public lectures \ In 1875, upon the resignation of 
Mr. George Hall, Mr. Joss of Coimbatore was appointed 
to succeed him. Mr. Corbold also resigned this year 
through ill health. In 1876 the Rev. F.Wilkinson, who had 
been at work for many years in Travancore, joined the 
mission, and became General Treasurer for the South 
Indian Missions. He also took charge of Pursewaukum 
Tamil Church. In 1881 he returned to Travancore. In 
1878 the statistics of the Madras Mission were seven 
European missionaries — four male, three female — two native 
pastors, four evangelists, two out-stations, 139 communi- 
cants, 226 adherents ; eight schools, 879 pupils ; native 
contributions, 307 rupees. 

In J 895, connected with the Society, there were six 
missionaries — three male, three female— three ordained 
native ministers, five preachers, eight Christian teachers, 
eight Bible-women, thirty Christian female teachers, 179 
communicants, and 446 adherents ; twelve schools, and 883 
scholars; and the school fees amounted to .^271, while the 
local contributions for the mission amounted to ^79- 

' For further details of work of this kind, see p. 117. 


In 1877 Miss Brown and Miss Bounsall, two of the first 
lady missionaries appointed by the Society, arrived in 
Madras. The former took charge of the girls' schools at 
Chulai, and also in connection with Pursewaukum native 
church ; the latter engaged in house-to-house visitation. 
In the first instance the houses of former pupils were visited, 
the wives of native pastors and evangelists rendering 
helpful service. In her report for 1885 Miss Brown gives 
some instructive illustrations of how far-reaching very 
often is the Christian instruction given in these and similar 
schools : — 

'Two pleasing incidents have lately occurred, showing 
the value of these and similar schools, and the good they 
are calculated to do to the girls educated in them. One 
of the girls educated in Chulai school many years ago 
(when the late Mrs. Hall superintended it) married, and 
went to live in Triplicane. She never forgot the Bible 
instruction she received in school, and lately a strong 
desire sprang up in her heart to see some Christian women, 
and to speak about the subjects which filled her mind. 
A school belonging to the Wesley an Mission is located 
in Triplicane, and every day she walked past this school in 
hopes of meeting one of the Christian teachers. As she 
was looking out in this way for some one to whom to 
unburden her heart, she happened to meet one of the 
Zenana teachers belonging to the Church of Scotland 
Mission, and seeing by her appearance that she was a 
Christian, eagerly accosted her and asked her to come to 
her house. This Christian teacher has visited her regularly 
since then to read and pray with her, and now the woman 
wishes to be baptized. 

'The other incident is quite as striking. When Mrs.Whyte 
had charge of the Black Town schools, a little girl in school 
was so impressed by reading the lesson on idols in the 
second book of the Christian Vernacular Education Society's 
series (still used in the schools), that she entirely gave up 
idol-worship, and was so determined about it that her 
friends seemingly let her alone ; perhaps her being a 


widow made them careless about her, as widows are very 
unimportant members of a Hindu household. After she 
left school she was visited by a Zenana teacher belonging 
to the Baptist Mission, and for some years has been a 
believer in Christ. For some time back she has been very 
desirous to take her stand on the Lord's side, and has 
suffered a good deal of persecution from her relatives on 
this account ; but a few days ago she quietly left them 
and came to Mrs. Dawson, the superintendent of the 
Baptist Female Mission, and on Jan. '^i, ii^H5, was baptized 
at her own request by the Rev. N. M. Waterbury, of the 
Baptist Mission.' 

In her decennial report for 1890, Miss Brown points out 
that in i(S7o there were two girls' day schools in the mission, 
one with 60, the other with 2<S scholars. In 1880 Chulai 
school had 104 girls, Pursewaukum 85. In 1886 the 
Chulai building collapsed during the monsoon, and for the 
next year the school greatly suffered in attendance. But in 
the course of 1888 and 1889 a handsome new building was 
put up at a cost of Rs. 7,000 and presented to the Society, 
and in 1890 there were 188 scholars. In 1890 Purse- 
waukum had 117 names on its roll. A measure of recent 
progress is found in the fact that in both schools all the 
teachers but one were Christians, and that one a widow 
earning her own living, and one over whom the school was 
expected to exert a Christian influence. 

Miss Brown superintended the Society's zenana work 
in Madras also, and in the report already referred to she 
states : — 

' Zenana visitation in connection with our mission has 
rapidly extended within the last few years. It was com- 
menced in 1878, a year after my landing in Madras. We 
began with three pupils — old scholars of the Chulai 
school — and as the number of pupils increased, Zenana 
teachers were engaged to visit them regularly and syste- 
matically. We have now a staff of five Zenana teachers, 
and sixty houses in which are one or more pupils. These 
houses are exclusive of the houses visited by Rebecca, the 


Bible- woman. An encouraging feature of our Zenana work 
is the increasing willingness of our pupils to pay fees, and 
as education among the women becomes more general and 
more valued, our difficulty in this matter will become less 
and less, as has been the case in regard to our girls' 

' One great difficulty in carrying on Zenana work is the 
lack of fully qualified teachers, and I purpose to establish 
a training class for Zenana teachers. Zenana teachers 
must be women of mature age and established character — 
mere school-girls will not do ; hence our boarding school 
cannot supply the need, though it has been very useful in 
supplying teachers for our schools. An institution to give 
women a proper training and education for Zenana work 
would be a very valuable auxiliary to our work.' 

Miss Bounsall took charge of the girls' boarding school, 
and also of the girls' school and the evangelistic work 
carried on in Kosapettah. 

Miss Gordon, who since 1871 had been actively engaged in 
the work of the girls' school at the other end of Madras, in 
Black Town, was in 1879 placed upon the Society's staff. She 
continued her active service without furlough to England 
till 1889-90, and her death took place at Madras in 1894. 
She was a grand-daughter of John Gordon, who joined the 
Vizagapatam Mission in 1810, and daughterof J. W. Gordon, 
who began work in the same mission in j 835. Her work 
in Madras for nearly twenty-five years had been very quiet 
and unassuming, but she won the affection of those for whom 
she toiled, and she gave freely herself to the support of 
the mission. During Miss Gordon's absence in 1889 her 
work was under the care of Miss Lois A. Cox, of Adelaide, 
sent to India by the Australian auxiliary. Unhappily her 
health failed in 1891. She returned to Adelaide and died 
there in August, 1892. 

In 1880 the Rev. G. O. Newport removed from Salem to 
Madras. He superintended the mission until 1885, when he 
returned to England. In the course of 1883 he had visited 
Australia as a deputation for the Society. Mr. Newport was 


succeeded by the Rev. Maurice Phillips, who at Madras has 
carried on very systematic work in preaching in Tamil to 
the Hindus. In 1893 the Rev. R. J. Ward, who had been 
for many years a pastor in England, joined the Madras 
Mission and undertook the pastorate of Davidson Street 

During the decade 1880 to 1890, Hinduism in Madras 
and elsewhere, alarmed at the growing influence of 
Christianity, and fanned by the Theosophical Society, deter- 
mined to use Christian methods in defence of Hindu faith 
and practice, and formed for their advocacy and enforce- 
ment a tract society and preaching society. For some 
years vigorous efforts were made to carry on by these 
agencies an active defensive and offensive propaganda. In 
1887 Mr. Phillips refers to this movement : — 

' I cannot describe the religious ferment now going on in 
Madras, and rapidly spreading all over the Presidency, 
better than by transcribing a few sentences from a Tamil 
tract published by The Hindu Tract Society, a Society 
lately established for the purpose of sending forth tracts 
and handbills against Christianity and in defence of Hin- 
duism. The tract is addressed to all sects and castes. 
" Missionaries," says the tract, " come from England at 
ereat cost, and tell us that we are in heathen darkness, and 
that a bundle of fables called the Bible is the true Vedam 
(inspired book) which alone can enlighten us. They have 
cast their net over our children by teaching them in their 
schools ; and they have already made thousands of Chris- 
tians, and are continuing to do so. They have penetrated 
into the most out of the way villages and built churches 
there. If we continue to sleep as we have done in the 
past, not one will be found worshipping in our temples in 
a very short time ; why, the temples themselves will be 
converted into Christian churches ! Do you not know that 
the number of Christians is increasing and the number of 
Hindu religionists decreasing everyday? How long will 
water remain in a well which continually lets out but 
receives none in ? If our religion be incessantly drained by 


Christianity without receiving any accessions, how can it 
last ? When our country is turned into the wilderness of 
Christianity, will the her!;) of Hinduism grow? " 

' After this wail over the decay of Hinduism and the 
apathy of its votaries the plan of campaign is sketched. 
Learned pandits must go forth and put the missionaries 
to shame by their dialectics. Tracts against Christianity 
must be published in all the vernaculars and distributed all 
over the land. Committees must be formed in all the 
towns and villages to warn the people against listening to 
Christian preachers. 

' " We must not fear missionaries because they have 
white faces, or because they belong to the ruling class. 
There is no connection between Government and Chris- 
tianity, for the Queen-Empress proclaimed neutrality in all 
religious matters in 1858. We must therefore oppose the 
missionaries with all our might. Whenever they stand up 
to preach, let Hindu preachers stand up and start rival 
preaching at a distance of forty feet from them, and they 
will soon flee ! Let caste and sectarian differences be 
forgotten, and let all the people join as one man to banish 
Christianity from our land. All possible efforts should be 
made to win back those who have embraced Christianit}-, 
and all children should be withdrawn from mission schools." 

'These extracts show clearly that Hindu zealots are 
fully alive to the fact that Christianity is a mighty power 
in India, and that unless it can be overcome it will ere long 
destroy the fond superstitions of thirty centuries. No more 
convincing testimony to the marvellous effect of the Gospel 
can be given than this of its enemies/ 

But in 1891 Mr. Phillips wrote: — 

'The glad tidings of great joy have been proclaimed 
daily in Madras and the out-stations during the year. 
We held 919 meetings, and preached 2,228 times to 61,063 
people. We sold 404 portions of Scriptures, 2.503 tracts, 
and 3,6co of the monthly paper, The Messenger of Triitli, 
and distributed gratis 10,785 handbills. Three evenings 
in the week we preached in the Bazaar at Gujelly to large 

II. F 


congregations. In previous reports we had to relate how, 
in consequence of our preaching, Hinduism was rousing 
itself hke a giant from its sleep^ of apathy, and putting 
forth all its strength to thwart our work and hinder the 
progress of the Gospel. Now, however, we are equally 
thankful that the giant, feeling its strength unequal to the 
task, is retiring to sleep. In the city of Madras we were 
seldom annoyed during the year, and indeed only saw the 
agents of the Hindu Preaching Society once in force. 

" Sunday afternoon lectures to educated Hindus have 
been delivered by missionaries of different denominations. 
The attendance was larger and the interest manifested was 
greater than in any previous year. These lectures are the 
only special agency in Madras for bringing the Gospel to 
bear on the educated Hindus and Mahometans who have 
left the schools or colleges. 

'Tours have been made as before in the districts con- 
nected with the out-stations of Tripassore and Pulicat, and 
in both centres a living work appears now to be carried on 
throughout the year. Public profession of Christianity is 
still accompanied by such serious social penalties that it 
is rare. The number of members received during the year 
was only seven, but indications appear from time to time 
in unexpected quarters of the way in which the Gospel is 
silently working among the people,' 

Madras is the great port of Southern India ; it is the 
gate through which the missionaries enter to pass to their 
different fields of labour. It has been from early years 
a great centre of education, steadily growing in efficiency, 
in importance, and in influence, and as a centre where 
Western thought and civilization are beginning powerfully 
to affect the mind of the younger Hinduism. 

2. COMBACONUM AND Chittoor. — Combaconum is a 
town situated on the south of Madras about twenty miles 
north-east of Tanjore. Its population is about 40,000. In 
1825 Mr. Meadj leaving Travancore in consequence of ill 
health, commenced a mission there with the assistance of six 


native readers, and at once entered on evangelistic work in 
the town and neighbourhood, and by degrees opened schools. 
The Directors of the Society for a time deferred giving 
their approval of the occupation of this town as a permanent 
station, probably on account of its proximity to Tanjore, 
an old and important centre of the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel. For two years Mr. Mead carried on 
the work with energy and success, but in 1827, as his health 
had improved, he returned to Travancore, where in August 
he met the Deputation of the Society, who arranged that he 
should superintend the western division of the Travancore 
Mission, making Neyoor his centre. On this account he did 
not return to Combaconum, but the work there was carried 
on with a reduced number of readers. In July, i(S29. 
Mr. Edmund Crisp settled at Combaconum as the resident 
missionary, and work was conducted with an increased 
number of readers and with much efficiency and success. 
In 1833, as Mr. Crisp was suffering in health, Mr. Nimmo. 
an East Indian agent, who for the past ten years had taken 
part in the work at several stations in connection with the 
Madras Mission, removed from Chittoor to Combaconum in 
order to assist Mr. Crisp, and rendered valuable service in 
itinerating and other forms of work. In June, i»S33. 
Mr. Crisp left Combaconum to proceed to Madras to take 
the place of a member of that mission whose health had 
failed. Mr. Nimmo was thus left in sole charge of the work, 
and in March, 1837, was ordained and placed on the list of 
the Society's missionaries. From this time until the close 
of 1851 he conducted the work with much efficiency, his 
long experience and his intimate acquaintance with the 
people and their customs well qualifying him to meet the 
various demands of the position. But in January, 1852, by 
the decision of the Directors, the station and district was 
handed over to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 
a step rendered advisable by the near neighbourhood of 
Combaconum to Tanjore. Mr. Nimmo therefore removed 
and took up work at Tripassore. But the results of the 
labour of the Society's agents during the twenty-six years 

F % 


of their occupation of Combaconum remained, though not 
in a form which would appear in statistical tables. Their 
persistent itineration, their frequent personal interviews 
with natives of all castes and creeds, their visits at Hindu 
festivals, their educational work in schools, and the wide 
circulation of Christian literature had formed a valuable 
foundation on which others might build. 

ChittooR, lying about eighty miles due west of Madras, 
and properly belonging to the Telugu country, must be 
mentioned here, as it was worked practically as an out- 
station from Madras. A church of native converts was 
formed here about 1825 by Mr. E. Crisp of Madras. From 
1 83 1 to 1835 Mr. Nimmo was the resident missionary ; from 
1833 to 1840 Mr. Bilderbeck laboured here, and at Arni 
and one or two other out-stations of Madras ; and from 
1840 to 1842 it was under the charge of Mr. Alexander 
Leitch. Work at Chittoor appears to have been carried on 
in a somewhat intermittent fashion, and after this period it 
ceases to appear as a head station in the Society's reports. 

3. Salem. This town, about 210 miles south-west of 
Madras, gives its name to one of the twenty-one districts 
which make up the Madras Presidency. Salem District^, 
with an area of 7,604 square miles and a population of 
over 2,000,000, is divided into nine taluks or sections, and 
these contain 3, ,594 villages. Except towards the south 
the district is hilly, with large plains lying between the 
hills. The chief river is the Kaveri, second in sacredness 
to the Ganges only. The language, with the exception 
of a part of one taluk, is Tamil. A somewhat detailed 
description of this district may serve for many others in 
central Southern India. 

The majority of cultivators are comparatively poor, but 
seem quite contented with their lot. So long as the wants 
of the day are supplied, they think little of the future. 

' In this sketch of the Salem Mission tiie author is largely indebted to a 
sketch written by the Kev. Maurice Phillips and issued in 1879. 


Their greatest trouble is (like small farmers in England) 
the payment of taxes ! They rise before dawn and go 
out to their fields, where they labour more or less all day. 
The morning meal is generally the cold remains of the 
previous night s supper, the latter being as a rule the only 
meal cooked. A piece of white cloth round his loins and 
another round his head form the only attire of an ordinary 
cultivator. His wife is equally simple in her mode of life. 
One or two cloths, ear-rings, and nose-rings, more or less 
costly, as the husband's circumstances admit, together with 
the Thali (sign of marriage, answering to our ring), form 
all her possessions. The children up to ten years or more 
go in a state of nudity, relieved perhaps by a piece of string 
round the waist. The ravika or jacket is worn generally 
by Musulmanis and by women of high castes, but rarely 
by the lower orders, except above the ghats, where the 
colder climate makes it necessary. The wealthier classes 
dress more richly in public, but in their houses their attire 
is very scanty. The people as a rule are v\ell-made and 
often handsome. 

The great bulk of the people, including cultivators, 
artisans, and pariahs, though nominally ranging themselves 
among the followers of Vishnu and Siva, worship certain 
village gods and goddesses, remnants of aboriginal pre- Aryan 
cult, the most popular of which is Mari-amman, the god- 
dess of small-pox and other ills that flesh is heir to ; and 
hence she is propitiated on the coming of every calamity 
by the sacrifice of fowls, sheep, and goats. A rude temple 
to this goddess is found in every village and hamlet of any 
importance ; and there are hereditary priests to officiate 
before her. If a village be too small to support a priest, 
his services are divided between two or three villages. All 
classes and religionists believe more or less in the doctrine 
of metempsychosis or transmigration of souls. 

The Salem Mission was commenced in the year 1827 by 
the Rev. Henry Crisp. Several schools which had been 
established and supported by the collector, M. D. Cockburn, 
were at once given over to the charge of the missionary. 


Mr. Crisp, after having acquired sufficient knowledge of 
the language, entered with much energy, zeal, and devoted- 
ness upon his work. He built school-rooms and a chapel, 
and began to preach and itinerate in full earnest ; but he 
died in 1H31, only four years after his arrival in the district. 
His devoted wife had died in 1829. 

For nearly a whole year the station was left without the 
superintendence of a missionary. In the course of 1832 
the Rev. G. Walton, an East Indian, was sent from 
Bellary to Salem. He carried on the work as he had 
found it with faithfulness, collected a little congregation 
around him, and selected five or six men to be his assistants 
as catechists or native teachers. The schools then con- 
tained 350 heathen children, and on Sundays the number 
of hearers had increased from five to fifty. Mr. Walton 
from time to time, with some of the native teachers, made 
evangelistic tours to several parts of this vast district, 
which then comprised more than a million of souls. Their 
principal work, however, was in Salem and its immediate 

In May, 1840, the Rev. J. M. Lcchler arrived. He was 
a German by birth, and had been associated with the 
Church Missionary Society in Tinnevelly, reaching India 
in 1835. Prior to settling at Salem, he had worked for 
some months in Coimbatore. In June, 1841, when the 
Rev. G. Walton died, he took entire charge of the mission, 
and laboured a!o9ie for twenty-one years. 

Mr. Lechler was no ordinary man. He possessed both 
the power to conceive, and the energy and determination 
to execute, great plans for the propagation of the Gospel 
and the building up of a Christian church in India. His 
piety, zeal, earnestness, and reliance upon God, as well as 
his abandonment of plans when found to be unsuitable, 
are worthy of imitation by all missionaries. 

The first plan which he tried was to establish schools 
over the greater part of the district where Christian books 
were taught, and where he and his assistants preached 
during their periodical visits. This plan failed be- 



cause the masters were all heathen and could not be 
prevailed upon to teach the Catechism and Christian 

The second plan Vv'as to collect scattered families willing 
to place themselves under Christian instruction, and to 
form them into Christian villages, giving them pecuniary- 
assistance to start as cultivators. The catechists in charge 
proved unfaithful, and the people, when the assistance 
begun was not continued, went back to their old habits 
and beliefs ! And ' thus,' writes Mr. Lechler, ' the plan of 
forming Christian villages, and of making them rallying- 
points for inquirers and depots of Christian truth, also 
failed almost entirely. In the neighbourhood of those 
villages, however, much good has been done ; many a soul 
has heard the Gospel, many children have been rescued, 
brought in and educated in our asylums, and some of the 
higher castes of cultivators have furnished themselves with 
copies of the New Testament or portions of it.' 

The third and most successful plan tried by Mr. Lechler 
was the establishment and maintenance of an Industrial 
School. In 1H54 Mr. Lechler visited England and also 
Germany, and upon his return in 1855 was accompanied by 
T. G. Kubler as his assistant, and by two artisans, and 
brought out material for the establishment of this school. 
The special object was to teach carpentry, smithery, and 
bricklaying to the boys of the orphanage and any young 
men desiring to j^lace themselves under Christian instruction. 
The school, though not fulfilling all of Mr. Lechler's 
expectations, did good work, and was only abolished after 
his death, as it was deemed unadvisable to continue it under 
the altered circumstances of the nn'ssion. Many Christian 
artisans in this and other districts were brought up in the 
Industrial School, and occupied respectable positions, who 
otherwise would have been only common labourers. 

Mr. Lechler placed a high value on itineration, and 
' regarded it as one, if not the most important, means of 
propagating the Gospel;' but he felt, as every missionary 
since in the district has felt, that ' it is to be rec^retted 


that it can be practised so little where there is only one 
missionary in a station.' 

According to Mr. Lechler's report for 1859, a year and 
a half before he died, the statistics of the mission were as 
follows: — Catechists, 11 ; out-stations, 4; communicants, 
^^ ; ' under Christian instruction, about 350.' The schools 
were : Boys' Orphan and Boarding Asylum, containing 30 ; 
Girls' Orphan and Boarding Asylum, containing 25 ; 
Industrial School, 25 lads; and six country day schools 
containing 7,5 pupils. 

Mr. Lechler died very suddenly on June 17, i86j. 
Mrs. Lechler was then in England about to embark for 
India, and the sad news of her great loss only reached 
her after her arrival in Madras. She survived her husband 
for over thirty years ; and was quite a leading spirit in 
the mission, especially on the Sherarog Hills, where she 

The Rev. Colin Campbell from Bangalore took charge 
of the mission after Mr. Lechler's death until the arrival 
of the Rev. Goodeve Mabbs in January, 1862. Mr. Mabbs, 
in consequence of ill health, was often away for lengthened 
periods from the district, so that he was able to do but 
little; and in November, 1865, he was transferred to 
Travancore, and the Rev. W. E. Morris took charge of 
the station. Mr. Morris threw his whole soul into the 
work, but after three years it proved too much for him. 
He was obliged to go home in P^bruary, 1 869, to recruit 
his shattered health, with the hope of returning ; but that 
hope was never realized. 

In January, 1869, Maurice Phillips added the charge 
of the Salem Mission to Tripatur, where he had been 
stationed since 1862. He resided at Salem, and itinerated 
through the district. There were at the end of 1869 eleven 
out-stations, fourteen native preachers, 1 29 communicants, 
475 baptized persons, including communicants; five boys' 
schools, containing ] 25 scholars, and two girls' schools, con- 
taining M4 girls, in connection with the mission. 

In February, 1870, the Rev. Henry Toller and his wife 


arrived to take the place of Mr. and Mrs. Morris ; but within 
six weeks of their arrival, he was suddenly attacked with 
cholera, and died in a few hours, Mr. Toller was a young 
man who had just left Cheshunt College, full of zeal, who, 
humanly speaking, had a fair prospect of a long and useful 
life before him, but God, who does all things well, ordered it 
otherwise. Mrs. Toller returned home in the ship in which 
both had come out. 

The Directors were greatly perplexed when they heard of 
the sudden death of Mr. Toller. They felt that they had 
lost four men at Salem during eight years, two by death 
and two by illness, and naturally feared the consequences 
of sending another man there. They therefore contemplated 
handing over the district to the Arcot Mission. The District 
Committee strongly and unanimously opposed the proposal. 
They pointed out the disastrous effect it would have in 
breaking up the symmetry of the field. If necessary to 
give up any station, either Belgaum or Vizagapatam, 
or both, on account of their distance and isolation from all 
other stations of the Society, could be better spared than 
Salem. They pointed out that much work had been done 
in the district ; that valuable property for carrying on 
missionary operations had been procured ; that the town of 
Salem only was unhealthy, and not the district as a whole ; 
that the unhealthiness of the tov/n could be avoided to 
a very great extent by living in the suburbs ; and that as 
Mr. Phillips had had experience of the place, and did not 
object to live in it, he should be relieved of Tripatur and 
devote the whole of his time to Salem. In the end the 
Directors relinquished the idea of giving up the district, 
and Mr. Phillips continued in charge of the mission until 
1884. During Mr. Phillips' furlough in 1873-74, the 
Rev. H. Rice, of Tripatur, superintended the work from 
that station. 

In July, 1875, Evangelist Mutthu was ordained pastor 
over the church in the town of Salem, the church agreeing to 
pay ten rupees a month towards his salary and all inciden- 
tal expenses of worship. In the same year the Anglo- 


vernacular school was raised to the standard of a High 
School preparing scholars for the Matriculation Examina- 
tion of the Madras University. The old mission house 
was turned into a school -room on the completion of a 
new house erected in a healthy locality outside the town, 
with the money realized by selling a part of the old 
mission compound. This High School was designed to 
give a high-class education on Christian principles in a town 
containing 50,000 inhabitants, and the capital of a district 
containing nearly two millions. Such a school has now 
become a necessity, without which missionaries can never 
exert the influence in the town and the district which they 
desire. Boys who have been in mission schools are 
generally the missionaries' friends, and often protect them 
from the abuse and insolence of crowds when preaching in 
the streets ; and as they come from different parts of the 
district to pursue the higher education, they always prepare 
the way for preaching in their villages. This being a new 
and a most important work, the Directors transferred the 
Rev. G. O. Newport from Nagercoil to Salem in March, 1H77, 
to take charge of the school and the work in the town 
and suburbs, thus leaving Mr. Phillips free to devote the 
whole of his time to itinerating and the out-stations. Ill 
health compelled Mr. Newport's removal to Bangalore in 
1 .S.So. 

The statistics of the mission at the end of 1878 were as 
follows :— Native minister, i ; native preachers, 8; out- 
stations, 12; communicants, 158; baptized (inclusive of 
communicants), 790 ; boys' schools, 6, with 335 scholars ; 
girls' schools 2, containing 138 pupils. 

The Rev. W. Robinson, of Tripatur, was formally ap- 
pointed missionary of Salem in 1885. In December, 1885, 
he was joined by the Rev. A. A. Dignum, who was trans- 
ferred from the Gooty Mission. For nearly three years 
the station then had the benefit of two resident missionaries. 
Mr. Robinson came to England on furlough in October, 
1888, and returned to India in the autumn of J 890. During 
his absence the Rev. C. G. Marshall, appointed to Tripatur, 


arrived and resided in Salem for a few months, to commence 
the study of the language and to become familiarized with 
mission-work. On his removal to Tripatur at the com- 
mencement of 1890, Mr. Dignum was left entirely alone 
for nearly twelve months. The Rev. R. C. Porter was 
appomted to the mission in 1893. 

Mr. Dignum in the report for 1 H90 wrote : — 

' With reference to evangelistic work in the district, I am 
afraid that I cannot report anything fresh or encouraging. 
It is a thrice-told tale that the area attempted to be covered 
is far too large to be thoroughly worked ; or, in other 
words, that the means at our disposal are all too inadequate 
for the work that needs to be done. Only one of the four 
taluks — that of Atur — is fairly supplied with agents. In 
Salem taluk, however, which is the most populous and 
in every way the most important, we have no mission 
agents outside Salem except at Yercaud and Razipur. 
During the year I have spent 137 days in visiting 
the out-stations and in preaching in the villages, and 
the conviction has been more and more deeply borne 
in upon me that a visit once, or at the most twice, 
a year to the larger villages, unless followed up by frequent 
visits from strong, earnest. Christian native workers, 
will not, and cannot be expected to, produce any lasting 

Evangelistic work has been vigorously carried on in 
the town of Salem by the Rev. A. Devasagayam and 
Mr. Pakkianathan, who completed his course of study 
at Bangalore at the end of i8(S9. 

Educational work has progressed remarkably in both 
branches. The High School, freed from Government con- 
trol, has continued to improve. The number on the roll 
has largely increased. The heads of the most influential 
and wealthy Hindu families send their sons to the school, 
though its Christian character is constantly maintained, 
all the teachers on the staff being Christians. The girls' 
schools, though not large, have been very successful in 
educational results. 


As in the other South Indian stations, for many years 
Christian work was carried on at Salem among the women 
and girls. But in 1891 new life was infused into this 
department by the arrival of Miss Lois A. Cox. In the 
year iHcSy, largely as the result of the visit of Mr. Wardlaw 
Thompson and Mr. Spicer, the Australian churches re- 
solved to take a more active share in the work of the 
Society. In connection with this development Miss Cox 
volunteered for service, and to her belongs the honour of 
being the first missionary thus sent forth by the Australian 
churches. We have already referred to her work in 
Madras, and in January, 189], she was transferred to Salem. 
There she was able to organize and commence, by the aid 
of Australian friends, four schools for girls. Unhappily 
her health failed, and in January, 1892, she returned to 
Adelaide, where she died on August 10. Brief as her 
career was, she has left a deep and inspiring influence 
upon the Salem Mission. 

Only a few weeks before the compulsory retirement of 
Miss Cox, Miss Annie Crouch, of Hobart, Tasmania, arrived 
in Salem as her colleague ; and only too soon found the 
main burden of the work resting upon her. The Church in 
Hobart from which Miss Crouch came, sent to her in 
December, 1892, a helper, Miss M. G. Lodge. The report 
for 1895 stated that in the four girls' schools there were 
354 scholars, and that there were five Bible-women in 
active service. A Lois Cox Memorial Home — a boarding 
school for girls — was erected by Australian friends, and 
in 1897 contained twenty-one pupils. 

Signs of the great change coming over Hindu society in 
its recognition of Christians and of Christianity have been 
evident in Salem. The Rev. A. Devasagayam stated in 
1890: 'The chasm which once divided the Hindu from 
the Christian now no longer exists. They rub shoulder 
to shoulder on every possible occasion. Is it a social 
meeting, or one for political reform, a religious address, 
a lecture on science or literature, or a reception to a public 
benefactor, you are sure of noticing Brahman, Christian, 


and Mussulman mingling freely and doing their work as 
if they all belonged to one brotherhood. This is an un- 
mistakable sign of the decay of caste.' Yet persecution 
and hostility to the Gospel are not by any means dead, 
and in Salem, as in other centres, the labours of the 
nineteenth century have been but the preparation for the 
success of the twentieth. 

4. Tripatur, a town of nearly 15.000 people, was occu- 
pied as a new centre of work in the north-east part of 
Salem district in 1861; and in September, 1862, the 
Rev. Maurice Phillips arrived from England as the first 
resident missionary. School work had been already begun 
there under the supervision of Mr, Lechler, and by 1 864 
the mission house was completed. 

In 1863 a woman, the wife of a man wlio had been 
converted in connection with another mission, was baptized ; 
and she, her husband, the catechist, and his family were 
formed into a Christian Church, and the Lord's Supper 
was administered. A vernacular school was opened in 
the pariah quarter with an attendance of twenty boys ; 
and an Anglo -vernacular school at Vaniambady, a large 
town fourteen miles from Tripatur, with an attendance of 
twenty-six boys. In 1 864 the late Mrs. Phillips commenced 
a caste girls' school at Tripatur, and took great interest in 
it up to her death in December, 1867. 

In 1865 the Anglo- vernacular school at Tripatur was 
discontinued. The Government school-room was enlarged, 
and the standard of education raised, so that it was 
impossible for the small mission school- room and limited 
funds to compete with it, consequently most of the best 
boys left for the Government school. An effort was made 
to avert this. An appeal was made to the Directors for 
sufficient funds to raise the school to the requirements of 
the people, but they did not respond. 

At the end of ten years after the commencement of the 
mission there were five catechists, four out-stations, twenty- 
one communicants, seventy-one baptized persons (including 


communicants), three boys' schools containing 125 scholars, 
and two girls' schools containing fifty-five girls. Among 
the converts of this mission were five Brahmans, but one 
went back to heathenism under great pressure from his 

In January, iHj^, the Rev. Henry Rice was transferred 
from Madras to Tripatur, and after spending three years 
there was compelled, on account of ill health, to visit 
England, when the charge of the mission devolved again 
on Mr. Phillips. 

Tripatur was for many years considered an out-station 
of the Salem Mission, but it became independent in 1H75. 
Its mis.sionary history since that time is, however, an 
illustration of the extreme weakness of the mission staff in 
South India for the purpose of overtaking the vast work 
which is offering itself on every hand. In 1881 the Rev. W. 
Robinson was resident at Tripatur in charge of the mission, 
and continued at his post until 1884. In that year the 
Rev. M. Phillips, of Salem, came to England on furlough, 
and Mr. Robinson had to take the oversight of the agents 
and work at Salem as well as at Tripatur. This double 
duty he performed in the next year also, and necessarily 
the larger district claimed a considerable portion of his 
time. In 1885 Mr. Robinson was permanently appointed 
to the charge of the Salem district, and removed to that 
place. But as there was no one else to take charge of 
Tripatur, he retained the care of this mission also. In 
1887 the same arrangement continued, and the mission 
suffered further loss by the death of the devoted and able 
native pastor, Rev. C. Sundram. 

At the close of 1888 the Rev. C. G. Marshall was sent 
out to take charge, but of course had to devote himself 
for the first year entirely to the study of the language. 
Mr. Marshall entered upon responsible charge of the mission 
at the beginning of 1890, and has been steadily at work 
since then. As the result of his growing acquaintance with 
the district and its inhabitants, Mr. Marshall stated : — 

' Many of the villagers seem to know the main features of 


Christianity very well, and some have renounced idol-worshii) 
and have placed themselves under Christian instruction. 
We have altogether about ten genuine inquirers, some of 
whom we hope shortly to baptize. In wandering about 
amongst the villages^ one cannot help noticing that there 
is a restlessness among the people and a pretty general 
suspicion of Hinduism. The work of the catechists and 
the spread of Christian literature have done a great deal to 
produce this. If we had an adequate staff of agents, we 
might reasonably hope within the next decade to have 
more than double the number of Christians in the district. 
But at present, with one European missionary, one Bible- 
woman, and seven native preachers, we are attempting 
the evangelization of three-quarters of a million of people 
scattered over an area of 3,269 square miles! It is needless 
to say that the work is too much for us to do thoroughly. 
At best, we are able only to visit the chief towns and 
villages once or twice a year, and many villages never get 
visited at all. We are constantly being disappointed in 
hopeful inquirers, because they live too far away to admit 
of our visiting them often, and they fall away.' 

In i<S96 the lamented death of Mrs. Robinson led to 
a rearrangement of work which transferred Mr. Marshall 
to Salem during Mr. Robinson's absence in England, and 
placed Tripatur under the care of Mr. R. C. Porter. 

5. COIMBATORE. This district contains 7,842 square 
miles, and a population of 1,700,000. The town is 306 
miles south-west of Madras, and stands at the foot of the 
Nilghiri Hills. It has a population of about 40,000 ; Tamil, 
"Canarese, and a corrupt Telugu are all spoken in different 
parts. The story of the Coimbatore Mission is from 1830 
to 1861 the record of the wise and persistent labours of one 
able and energetic worker, the Rev. W. B. Addis, and his 
devoted wife. He founded and established the mission. 
and zealously superintended all its details for over thirty 
years. In broad features the work at Coimbatore resembled 
that at Salem and Bellary. Mr. Addis strove, and not 


without success, to make it a native mission by the securing 
and superintending of a band of competent native pastors 
and evangelists. Mr. Sidney Long, who took charge of the 
mission in 1884, and who knew Mrs. Addis well during 
the later years of her long and useful life, has given the 
following sketch ^ of this very important department of the 
work. Mr. Long's description is important as illustrating 
the nature and quality of the work done not only in 
Coimbatore, but over the whole Indian mission-field by 
the now large army of native evangelists and catechists. 

Few missionaries can have had any real experience of 
Lidia without coming to the conclusion that India will be 
won to Christ by Indians rather than by foreigners. No 
workers in India need more sympathy, more prayer, more 
help than the evangelists and catechists who have sprung 
from the soil, and who are in much closer touch with their 
fellow-countrymen than any missionaries from the West 
can be. They frequently occupy posts of great loneliness, 
especially when a new station has been opened, and they 
and their family form the whole of the Christian Church in 
a dark place. 

The catechist goes out morning and evening to deliver 
his message. He is not usually a man of special culture, 
and the more educated natives pass him by with a sneer. 
The Brahmans often despise him : he gets his hearers chiefly 
from the lower classes, but they are too taken up with the 
things of this world and often too degraded and poverty- 
stricken to give much heed to his message. His work he 
is supposed by those around him to have adopted simply 
as a livelihood, and he is asked again and again in all 
seriousness how much money he will give for a convert, and 
how much he will get from his superior for enrolling new 
names. Does the missionary find work hard and dis- 
couraging ? The catechist has tlie same trials to meet, and 
has not the same stimulus in Christian literature and often 
in Christian fellowship. Is it the case that catechists are 

' This sketch, extending over pp. 80 I0 86, is from an unpublished life of 
Mrs. Addis, of which Mr. Long kindly allowed the author to make use. 


often time-servers, and without zeal ? Before we judge 
them, let us imagine ourselves year after year in their 
isolation, not infrequently boycotted and persecuted by the 
great mass of the people around, and then ask how faithful 
and how zealous we ourselves should be. 

Mr. Addis from the first, realizing the immense importance 
of so doing, set himself to raise a good class of native agents. 
He did his best to equip them well, and accorded to them 
that hearty recognition, and gave them that confidence, 
which go so far towards ensuring the best efforts that one's 
fellow-workers can exert. 

Another principle of great importance with him was this — 
not only should the work be done by Indians, but according 
to Indian methods. * The mission is a native one throughout,' 
he often and quite correctly asserted. This meant economy 
and efficiency. Agents were not encouraged to adopt 
European style of dress, furniture, and food, neither were 
they educated in English, but only in their vernacular. Such 
customs as were good or harmless in their own life were 
maintained. The rules of the mission were very strict in 
some respects ; one was as follows : ' All agents who appear 
in public with dirty or ragged clothes, or without having on 
jacket or turban, or who have long beards, shall pay a fine 
of one rupee for each offence ! ' A set of by-laws was 
drawn up about the clothing and deportment of catechists. 
The desire was to keep them as much as possible in touch 
with, and worthy to receive the respect of, their fellow- 
countrymen. Neither for them nor for those whom the}' 
should evangelize was mere change considered desirable. 
Change is not necessarily conversion. Mr. Addis was 
convinced that ' all the Hindus require to make them one 
of the most happy and contented people in the world is 
the knowledge of salvation through the incarnation of the 
Eternal Son of God, and the moral principles of the Bible.' 

This avoidance of change made merely for its own sake 
was the rule throughout the mission, with catechists, church 
members, male and female scholars, and all whom it 
influenced. In these later days English education should 

IT. G 


not; and cannot, be excluded, as was the case from 1830 to 
1861, but in other respects the principles adopted by the 
founder of the mission have generally been maintained. 
Customs that were oppressive and wrong were of course 
fought against by Mr. Addis ; for instance, in 1849, for the 
first time in Coimbatore, took place in the Mission Church 
the remarriage of a Hindu widow, in spite of great prejudice 
and opposition. She was a Christian, but in later years 
even non-Christian widows have been publicly remarried 
in Coimbatore. 

Mr. Addis brought two earnest native workers from 
Nagercoil to help him in starting the mission. They very 
soon returned to their own country, and he was dependent 
on the agents he raised locally : his first assistant will be 
mentioned hereafter. When a few converts had been made, 
the most suitable of them who were willing were set apart 
for Gospel work, and received training in the ' preparatory 
class " which has been mentioned. Their studies were in 
the Bible, theology, geography of India and Palestine, 
general history, and simple medicine ; they also devoted 
a short lime daily to manual labour of some kind. Practic- 
ally every agent employed by Mr. Addis during thirty 
years was thus trained by himself; two or three obtained 
some additional training in the London Mission Seminary 
at Bangalore. These workers were arranged into four 
classes, and were designated ' readers,' ' assistant catechists,' 
' catechists,' and ' evangelists.' 

When located in distant towns or villages, Mr. Addis 
was always very particular that they should have a dwelling- 
house, with a well, a school-house, book depot, and where 
possible a hall fur preaching. This arrangement made the 
catechist independent, and gave him a modest status among 
his neighbours. Being provided with a well, he was safe 
from the worst form of boycot, namely, deprivation of water 
for drinking and washing purposes. He was, however, still 
liable to be deprived of the village dhobie and barber. 
The former he could do without, as he was able to wash his 
own clothes ; but not having a barber's services was more 


serious, as natives are very particular about removing their 
beards and also the hair on the forepart of their heads : and 
they not only find it a great difficulty to do this themselves, 
but consider shaving a menial and degrading occupation. 
The monthly salary given was (S rupees, 5 annas, 4 pies. 
The evangelists had in addition an allowance of four annas, 
called baita, for each day on circuit ; ' it was left to their 
conscience to do with less if they could, and in the majority 
of cases they managed on less.' The catechists also were 
constantly travelHng, but in a more restricted circle. In the 
report for 1855 Mr. Addis remarked : 'They (nine or ten 
catechists) travelled between 6,oco and 7,000 miles during 
the year, and this is about their yearly average ; they visited 
and made known Christ and His glorious salvation to the 
inhabitants of 2,375 towns and villages, performing all their 
journeys on foot, only being allowed a boy on one anna a day 
to accompany them with a bundle of Scripture portions and 
tracts for sale or distribution. They had nothing themselves 
beyond their regular salary.' By means of the presence of 
a Christian family in the midst of a heathen village, by the 
humble journeyings of these men to festivals and weekly 
markets for preaching, by their daily visits to villages, by 
their sales of Bible portions and Gospel tracts, how much 
has been done towards establishing the kingdom of Christ 
in India, the Last Great Day alone will declare. 

Often they had to suffer from suspicion and from open 
persecution in various ways, but often also these workers 
made their way into the hearts of the people, and while in 
one village there existed opposition to the catechist, in 
another he was highly esteemed. Many of the catechists 
had a useful knowledge of medicine, and their skill in this 
respect was generally found to disarm prejudice. In some 
instances where a catechist had died or been removed by 
the missionary, the people begged for a successor, or the 
villagers in a neighbouring place sent a petition that they 
might be favoured like those who had a catechist resident 
with them. In one place the heathen gratuitously helped 
a new catechist to erect his house, in another gave the 



choice of a locality to be purchased for such a purpose, and 
in another even gave the ground. Such kindness could not 
be refused, and the offers of food and hospitality to the 
agents when travelling were accepted, but no agent, for 
medical assistance rendered by him, or for any other 
service, was permitted to receive money from the people 
around him. Not infrequently such catechists as had won 
their way with the people would be detained in the villages 
they visited for several hours after nightfall by the farmers 
who had been in the ^elds all day ; a suitable place, and 
lights and refreshments, would be provided so that they 
might at leisure read and talk about the Scriptures. In 
one village where a catechist had been working without 
any apparent success for some time, Mr. Addis recorded 
that this worker told the people that ' although he was 
thankful to them for all their kindness, yet that he had 
great sorrow of heart because they did not fully receive 
his instructions by outwardly acting according to them in 
forsaking idolatry, and that he thought of selling his house 
and removing to some other place. Thereupon they came 
to him in a great number and entreated him not to leave 
them, but to have a longer patience ; they even went so far 
as to hold a consultation and to decide that no one should 
purchase the house, but that they would more attentively 
listen to his instructions in the future. This they in part 
fulfilled, and some time afterwards one of the most 
influential inhabitants openly declared himself a Christian, 
and together with his wife and large family, as also with 
several of his relatives and farm-labourers, constantly 
attended Divine Service. He was, some time afterwards, 
publicly baptized, and walked for several years according 
to the precepts of the Gospel, and died in the faith.' 

Mr. Addis hoped to see the time when there should be 
at least one catechist for 50,000 souls — surely a sufficiently 
modest desire. That hope was expressed in 1843, over 
fifty-five years ago, and still such a state of things has not 
been realized. He felt, as his successors have done, how 
unsatisfactory is the visit of a missionary to villages two 


or three times a year, and how much better is the permanent 
presence of even the poorest Christian worker who has the 
desire to spread the truth. 

As late as KS97 some of the workers trained by Mr. Addis 
remained in active work in the mission, and they had their 
own distinctive marks, in the way they dressed, the removal 
not only of the kiidwni, but of all hair from their heads, 
their skill in medicine, their tidy and methodical ways, not 
least in their skill as penmen, all having learnt to write 
a very good hand. 

Of these workers, between 1830 and 1861, many interest- 
ing particulars might be given. It will, however, suffice if 
a brief account of one of them be recorded here. The first 
convert in the mission was Vedanayagam. When Mr. Addis 
arrived in Coimbatore, he sought, as previously stated, for 
those who would be willing to teach in a Christian school, 
and particularly for those who would agree to teach the 
Christian books used. A learned Hindu who was acting 
as his munshi recommended a certain ' Nanjen/ an intelli- 
gent young man well versed in the Shastras, and a strict 
observer of his religion, Nanjen agreed, provided he might 
have one day a week free for his Hindu ceremonies. He 
taught Watts' Catechism to the younger and Scripture 
to the elder boys. Others seeing that no harm resulted, 
volunteered their services also, and within a year six schools 
were in operation. Meanwhile, Nanjen was invited to the 
Tamil service in the cottage on the common, but at first 
refused. After a time his curiosity was too strong for him, 
and he attended. ' One Sunday,' to quote Mr. Addis's 
record, ' a tear was observed stealing down his cheek ; the 
following week, when the missionary visited his school, he 
was surprised to find him at his post, although it was 
a heathen festival of considerable repute, and upon being 
asked how it was that he had not attended, he said with 
much evident emotion, " Sir, I have for ever done with 
such things." The feelings of the missionary may be 
conceived, but which of the two was most affected cannot 
be well said, for he quitted the school, and neither spoke 


further on the occasion. But now the schoolmaster's trials 
began — his wife and children left him, and he being a fond 
father and a domestic man, this was a severe trial indeed, 
and when he came to the missionary to relate the matter, 
he could not control his feelings. But on being asked 
what he intended to do, he answered with much firmness, 
" Cleave to Christ, let the consequences be what they 
may." ' 

After a long period of probation he was baptized, and 
at the same time the name of Vedanayagam was given 
to him. This being the first baptism in Coimbatore, it 
attracted much notice. After some time Vedanayagam's 
wife and children returned to him and joined the Christian 
faith, but at first he had no companion like-minded, and 
his position was both solitary and very difficult. He 
underwent training and became an able evangelist, serving 
the mission for fifteen years, during which time no 
complaint of any sort was brought against him, and this 
in spite of the fact that latterly he had to act as locum 
tenens during one or two absences of Mr. Addis on account 
of ill health. He was cut off at the early age of thirty- 
seven, and his loss was greatly felt. His funeral was not only 
attended by those belonging to the Christian congregation, 
but by numbers of heathen, many of superior caste, and 
among them real sorrow for his removal was manifested. 

Mr. Addis was for some years aided by his son Charles, 
who though subject to epilepsy did much valuable mis- 
sionary service, but in i(S6i ill health compelled both to 
resign. Mr. Addis died in 1871, but Mrs. Addis survived 
in India until 1898. In 1862 Mr. Morris came to Coim- 
batore, and from 1865 to 1869 Mr. Haslam was in charge. 
After an interval, in which Mr. Coles and Mr. Henry Rice 
in succession superintended the mission, Mr. Joss took up 
the work in 1870. In 1875 he was transferred to the 
English Institution at Madras, and Mr. H. A. Hutchison 
became the missionary in charge. The Coimbatore Mission 
during the last twenty years illustrates the difificulty of 
keeping up the staff and securing continuity of work in an 


Indian station. In 1 880 there were two missionaries, both 
young and vigorous men. One of them, the Rev. J. N. 
Hooker, B.A., who had but recently joined the mission, 
w^as a man of exceptional promise, able, devout, enthu- 
siastic. To the outward appearance, therefore, there was 
the prospect of a decade of very vigorous and successful 
work, but the hopes cherished were speedily disappointed. 
Mr. Hooker died in July, 1882, the victim of over-exertion 
and exposure ; and Mr. Hutchison returned to England on 
furlough in 1883, to retire from missionary work altogether. 
The Rev. W, Monk Jones joined the mission in May, 1883, 
in the room of Mr. Hooker, and for eighteen months had 
the responsibility of this vast district entirely on his own 
shoulders, though he had only been six months in India 
when he came to the station. At the end of 1 884 the 
Rev. S. J. Long joined him. By the time Mr. Long had 
become tolerably familiar with the language, and was able 
to take his full share of responsibility, the health of 
Mr. Monk Jones gave way, and in January, 1888, he had 
to return to England. Again the mission was left with 
only one missionary for nearly two years. At the end of 
1889 the Rev. E. Hawker. B A., was sent out. In 1894 
Mr. A. W. Brough, from New South Wales, reached Coim- 
batore. Under his care a new building for the High School, 
one of the finest in South India, was erected. 

Female mission-work had been carried on since 1882, 
in which year Miss Horton was appointed, but she left 
after three months, and no one was sent to occupy the 
vacant place until Miss Bounsall was transferred from 
Madras at the end of 1888, to superintend and to develop 
work among girls and women. Miss Cuthbert reached 
Coimbatore in 1893, but left on her marriage in 1895, and 
was succeeded by Miss German. 

Such a history of change and disappointment, so strong 
a contrast to the story of the first thirty years, is naturally 
the prelude to a story of slow progress and scanty results. 
Yet in some directions there has been decided progress. The 
number of catechists and other native workers has increased. 


and could easily be trebled to supply openings which are full 
of promise, if only funds were forthcoming for their support. 
Educational work is in a very healthy condition, notwith- 
standing bitter and unscrupulous opposition which has 
shown itself again and again. The High School in the 
town of Coimbatore attained its highest numbers in 1886. 
Then came a period of decline, at first on account of the 
opening of a number of adventure schools, and afterwards 
in consequence of the fierce anti-Christian agitation in the 
town, consequent on the baptism, though not in the London 
Mission, of a young Brahman. The number of scholars 
decreased to 169 at the end of 1889. The strenuous efforts 
of Mr. Asirvatham David, the head master, turned the 
tide, and the school closed in 1890 with an attendance 
of 221. ' The girls' schools have made steady and satis- 
factory progress during the decade. The advance is not 
merely in numbers and efficiency, but in the age to which 
it has been possible to retain pupils, and the consequent 
increase of the number of pupils in the more advanced 

Notwithstanding this long story and change and dis- 
appointment, at the close of the century the signs were all 
in favour of renewed life and energy and progress in this 
important missionary district. 

II. Canarese Missions. Canarese is one of the four 
great languages which make up the Dravidian group, 
of great antiquity, highly developed, and possesses a rich 
and ancient literature. It is the speech of the inhabitants 
of the great native state Mysore and the regions con- 
tiguous to it on the north, and is spoken by nearly 
10,000,000 people. The Society's work in this language 
has been carried on at three great centres : Bellary, 
Bangalore, and Belgaum. 

1. Bellary. The origin and progress of the work here 
from 1810 to 1818 has been sketched in Chapter III. The 
year 1819 was notable from the fact that Mr. Hands then 


began the printing at Madras of his Canarese version of 
the Scriptures. In the same year, after nine years' patient 
labour, the first native member was admitted to the Church, 
a Brahman, whose after career was, unhappily, inconsistent 
with his profession. In 1824 a new church, costing 7,000 
rupees, a sum raised mainly by local contributions, was 
built. In 1824 Mr. Reeve returned to England, and 
Mr. Beynon, who came to take his place, began his long 
missionary career by three years' service at Bellary. In 
1826 a printing press, under the superintendence of 
Mr. Paine, was established, and for many years rendered 
service of the highest value, printing the Scriptures, books, 
and tracts in both Canarese and Telugu. 

In 1827 the Rev. Samuel Flavel removed from Ban- 
galore, and for the next twenty years gave most efficient 
service as a native preacher. This man, whose name 
stands high in the history of early South Indian missions, 
was born in Quilon about 1787. While in the service of 
an official under the Ceylon Government, he found one day, 
under a tree, a copy of the Gospel in Tamil. This led to 
his conversion, and he became an eloquent preacher in 
different parts of Mysore. He was ordained in Bangalore, 
but the last twenty years of his life were spent in successful 
work in and around Bellary. He died in 1847. At the 
end of 1828 Mr. Hands, the pioneer of the mission, after 
eighteen years' toil, took a well-deserved furlough and 
returned to England. During this period he had acquired 
the Canarese language without any of those helps now 
available ; he had translated into that difficult language 
and printed a large portion of the Scriptures, besides many 
other books and tracts ; in addition to all this literary 
labour, he had from the first been the centre and life of 
the mission in all its various activities. He returned in 
1832, but in 1835 was compelled to return to England ; 
and though in 1838 he came back to India for a brief stay, 
he did not reLurn to Bellary. 

In 1830 the Rev. John Reid, M.A., took up the work. 
Like his colleagues in the other South Indian missions, he 


was deeply impressed by the low moral state of the people, 
and by the great importance of sound educational work. 
He established orphan and boarding schools for boys 
and girls. For several years, as there was no chaplain at 
the post, he discharged the duties of that official. He 
continued active in the mission until his death in 1841. 
The colleagues and successors of Hands and Reid were 
the Rev. J. Shreives and the Rev. W. Thompson, whose 
son, Ralph Wardlaw Thompson, in i8(Si became Foreign 
Secretary. Mr. Thompson was connected with the Bellary 
Mission from 1837 to 1848. In 1842 Mr. Paine died, and in 
the same year the Rev. J. S.Ward law, M.A.. reached Bellary, 
and founded in 1846 anew English and vernacular school for 
boys, called the Wardlaw Institution. In 1852 the mission 
press was given up, and Mr. Wardlaw removed to Vizaga- 
patam. The Rev. L. Valett was at Bellary from 1853-7; 
J. Macartney, 1857-62; J. G. Hawker, 1866-71; and 
E. Le Mare, 1873-7. But the chief burden of the work 
during the last fifty years has rested upon three shoulders : 
J. B. Coles, 1849-59, 1862-9, and 1875-86; Edwin Lewis, 
1865-95; and Thomas Haines, 1870-90. 

In 1851 two men from Honoor, a village eighty miles 
west of Bellary. came to Bellary for religious instruction. 
Ultimately both were baptized, carried the Gospel back 
to their village, and between 1851 and 1854 a number of 
converts, the result of their labours, were baptized. 

In 1857, that is, forty-seven years after the mission was 
begun, there were at the station 2 missionaries, 4 native 
teachers, 267 baptized persons, 97 communicants, to male 
and ID female school teachers, 2 boarding schools, 6 ver- 
nacular day schools, and one Anglo-vernacular school. 

In a paper read before the Missionary Conference in 
] 858, Mr. Coles said : ' Those who first entered on this 
mission had to encounter many difficulties, which are now 
removed. They prepared the way, and gained experience 
for those who followed them. I'^or many years the mis- 
sionaries were the only ministers of the Gospel at the 
station, and performed all the duties of military chaplains. 


. 91 

This, thout^h unavoidable, greatly interfered with the work 
of preaching to the heathen. Moreover, few missionaries 
have been able to continue many years at their post. 
Some have died ; others have lost their health, and returned 
to England, or removed to other stations.' 

During the century, in addition to the long list of devoted 
men and women who have laboured there, Bcllary was 
favoured with the consecrated service of three remarkable 
men — John Hands. J. B. Coles, and Edwin Lewis. Although 
Mr. Coles began and closed his missionary life elsewhere, 
the great bulk of his service was rendered in Bellary. His 
was one of those unobtrusive lives which deserve remem- 
brance all the more from the fact that with quiet faithful- 
ness they do their appointed work. 

Mr. Coles was born in London in i(Si9, and when he 
was still quite young his father removed to Portsmouth. 
The family attended the ministry of the Rev. John Griffin. 
On deciding to become a missionary, largely through having 
known Robert Moffat as a guest in his father's house, he 
studied with the Rev. John Cecil, first at Turvey, and then 
at Ongar. He was one of the first students at Spring Hill 
College, Birmingham. He laboured in Bellary, with a short 
intermission of two years in Madras, from i N49 to i8<S6. 
There his life-work was chiefly done, and his Christian 
influence most widely exerted. A good Hebrew and Greek 
scholar, he soon became proficient likewise in the Canaresc 
language, through which he drew very near to the native 
Christians of the country. His life was mainly spent in 
vernacular preaching, and in guiding and building up the 
native church ; he also served the cause of education, and 
was for years the head of the Wardlaw Institution ; while 
he rendered an efiicient ministry in connection with the 
English congregation at Bellary, a work refreshing to his 
own spirit, and greatly esteemed by the English Christians. 
He was in Lidia during the Mutiny of 1H57, and when 
urged to take refuge with the other Europeans in the 
Bellary Fort, he preferred to stay at his post in the 
mission house, surrounded by the native Christians. 


During the severe famine of 1877-8, he exercised a fatherly- 
care over many orphan boys whom he had gathered in ; 
and these he trained and fitted for useful posts in life. He 
was a man of remarkably wise counsels, calm, clear judg- 
ment, and wide sympathies — a mentor especially in com- 
mittees. His valuable gifts and accurate scholarship, 
accompanied by a singular unobtrusiveness and gentle 
influence, did quite as much for the building up of the 
mission as did the labours of others who were brought 
into greater prominence. 

Mr. Edwin Lewis reached Bellary in January, 1866, and 
at once devoted himself to the work of itinerating the 
Bellary district. Gifted with great linguistic ability, he 
soon mastered the language, and became a fine Canarese 
and Teliigu scholar. He also learned Hindustani that he 
might the more freely work among the Muhammadan 
population. Not only did he acquire unusual control 
over three vernaculars, but he was also able to render 
services of the highest value in Bible revision. Mr. Lewis 
spent the whole of his missionary life, 1866 to 1897, at 
Bellary. He was a man of fine appearance, of winning 
manner, of deep faith and simple fervent piety ; and he 
came to be esteemed, by universal consent, an ideal itine- 
rating missionary. He loved the work — the chat by the 
wayside, the strange and attractive meetings with those 
willing to hear him, the little Indian villages with their 
simple life. And wherever he went, the heart of the 
Hindu responded to the love that throbbed in the great 
brotherly heart of the missionary, and through that gate 
of love he entered multitudes of hearts that would have 
opened to no other influence. There have been through- 
out the century men equally gifted, equally wise, equally 
devoted to, and apt at, itinerating work ; but certainly no 
man has excelled Edwin Lewis in this department of 
service which he made so specially his own. 

A few examples and illustrations, in his own language 
for the most part, will enable the reader to understand 
better the itineration work done by European missionaries, 


not alone in the Bellary district, but over tlie whole of 

' It is well known that one very important means, to 
say the least, of spreading the knowledge of the Christian 
religion in India, is by missionaries going from town to 
town and village to village, teaching and preaching. This 
has been my work. We have lived amongst the people, 
talked with them in their houses, in their shops, in the 
market-place, in the heathen temple ; we have let the 
people see that we were not in a hurry to speak to them 
a few words and then depart, but that, cost what it might, 
we were prepared to show them a new way. We have 
found everywhere attentive listeners, in many places intelli- 
gent and anxious inquirers. Many at home, I know, 
seriously question the use of this mode of work ; but we 
have tried it ; we have seen its effects ; we believe in it 
most fully as one of the most effective means of spreading 
the kingdom of Christ in India. 

* '•' But do the people who hear you preach in the streets 
understand what they hear ? Do they remember it ? Are 
they in anywise influenced by it?" We unhesitatingly 
answer, " Yes." Facts show how through this mode of 
preaching men become generally enlightened concerning 

' I. Far away from a mission centre, when we were 
passing through a large village, a number of men came to 
me, saying, "Are you a padre?" I said, "Yes. Have 
you ever seen one before? " They said, " We have. He 
told us about one God, and Jesus Christ who is the 
Saviour, and we want you to stay and tell us more." 
I remained some time in the village, and as I spoke to 
them, much that they had heard before was brought to 
their remembrance, and they clearly appreciated what they 

' 2. I visited Adoni on one occasion, and spent some 
time in the corn-market, speaking with the merchants 
there. One man in the company came up to me, and 
pointing to a large stone near, said, " I remember you 


sitting on that stone a few years ago, and speaking to us 
of this reh'gion ; "' and he told me much that I had taught 
four years before, on that spot, and amongst other things 
the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He remembered also 
a discussion that had taken place on religion in another 
part of the town at that time. 

' We preach to different kinds of people in India, and we 
have to preach to them in very different ways. In Narrain- 
devara Kerry, a considerable town, a great many Brahmans 
live. Many of them are learned in the sacred books, and men 
of great intelligence. Once, when spending several days in the 
town, I sought out all the different classes of people there, 
that I might preach to them, and amongst others the 
Brahmans. In the public streets the congregation was 
assembled ; old men from fifty years of age (a man is con- 
sidered old in India at that age) to boys of eight or ten 
were there. They all know I am a padre. The lads 
looked me straight in the face, eager to hear what I had 
to say ; some of the younger men looked amused, others 
stood aside and looked at me askance, with a half-sneering 
countenance ; some who professed themselves learned — 
the Shastris — were ready to watch every word, and eager 
to entangle me in my speech. Not an illustration will be 
employed, not an argument used, not a statement made, 
not a doctrine propounded, that will escape their criticism. 
I know them well ; they are prepared to argue, to discuss, 
to quibble. The older men think it foolish on my part to 
speak of any other god than the gods they have always 
worshipped and trusted in, and at the same time are 
inclined to be angry if anything is said in disparagement of 
their sacred books or their priests or their gods. A priest 
from the temple who is present, proud, haughty, and self- 
conceited, is almost ashamed to stand and listen, but con- 
descends to wait awhile to hear what this white teacher 
will say about religion, a subject for which he thinks an 
Englishman cares little. Such is the group, a congrega- 
tion of veritable Scribes and Pharisees. To denounce the 
gods of the heathen would be foolishness, to reason with 


them would be of no use. I begin by telling them my 
own experience as a Christian ; the things I have felt and 
tasted and handled of the Word of Life ; how I believe in 
Jesus, who came into the world to save sinners. I speak 
of my trust in God, and confidence in Him through Jesus, 
of my hope for the future ; of the love of God, of the love 
of Christ to all men ; and before I have finished my 
address, they are ready to ask me questions about the 
Gospel of Jesus ; very few are inclined to cavil, even when 
in after-conversation I compare their religion with the 
Christian, and condemn theirs. 

* Another class of people I have had much to do with is 
the Lingait farmers. They are an intelligent and very 
conservative people ; they are worshippers of Shiva, and 
wear about them the Linga, the emblem of Shiva. I came 
into a large village called Vicrapoor at a time of great 
drought ; the agriculturists were all at home waiting, they 
told me, for rain. I had a large gathering, and spent the 
whole of one day amongst them. This was my first visit 
to this particular village, and one of the first questions put 
to me by the people was, " Who are you, sir ? Why have 
you come to our village ? What are you going to do?" 
My answer was, " I am a sower ; I have come to your 
village to sow seed ; I hope there is good ground here, 
that the seed I sow will bring forth a rich harvest." They 
were a little puzzled for a time, and argued about what 
I could mean ; when their curiosity was greatly excited, 
I gave them the key by telling them that the seed I came 
to sow was good teaching of a pure religion. They saw 
through the whole, and in a moment said, " The ground, 
then, is our hearts." I then read and explained our 
Saviour's Parable of the Sower ; and before I left they told 
me the sowing had been done. 

' In some parts of the district where we have preached 
in this way we have already reaped fruit, and have other 
fruit almost ready to be gathered in. Sundoor is the chief 
town in a small kingdom of the same name, ruled by a 
native prince, and is about thirty miles distant from Bellary, 


Resident there were two young men, Chennappa and Na- 
gappa, both of highly respectable families and well-to-do 
in the world. Chennappa, a Lingaite trader, was a married 
man with two children, who had houses and lands and 
possessions, a mother and several brothers, all of whom 
were living in adjoining houses ; Nagappa was a young 
unmarried man, a goldsmith, living at home in his father's 
house. These two young men were companions and 
friends in their inquiry and desire to embrace the Christian 
religion. I had often met them alone away from the town, 
under a tree in the field, or close by the jungle ; and prayed 
with them, and talked with them of Jesus, and invited 
them to come. 1 had written to them notes when I could 
not see them. 

' I knew they were struggling to be free, and deeply 
sympathized with them. It is not an easy thing to break 
away from father and mother, and home and friends, and 
to give up possessions and houses ; and this they were 
trying to do. They prayed earnestly for strength, and 
entreated me to pray for them ; and they had great faith 
in the power of prayer. At length I happened to be 
staying in Sundoor for twelve days, and saw them pub- 
licly or privately every day. They resolved to be baptized. 
It became known in the town that they were visiting me 
and likely to become Christians. The young prince, who 
was very bitter because three or four persons from his 
town had already become Christian outcasts, sent for them, 
reasoned with them, threatened them, forced them to place 
their foreheads upon his feet, and declare that they would 
never disgrace their caste. 

' On the evening of my leaving Sundoor they wished to 
join me, and come to Bellary to be baptized. At 4 o'clock 
in the afternoon they left me to go home and see their 
friends, and were to steal away at 8 o'clock and meet me 
two miles out of the town, in a narrow glen between two 
immense rocks, and go on to Bellary. At 8 o'clock I was 
there ; I waited alone till 9, looking and watching for 
them : they did not come. I looked anxiously till 10 


o'clock, but no sign of their coming; 11 and 12 o'clock- 
passed, still they did not come ; I was sad at heart, and 
wearily and heavily went on my way to Bellary. 

' I heard nothing of Chennappa and Nagappa for several 
weeks. Then Chennappa carne suddenly to my house in 
Bellary, and before uttering a word fell down on the floor 
by my side, and sobbed and wept bitterly. I raised him 
up, spoke kindly to him, prayed with him ; and he said, 
" My faith failed me. Oh, how weak I am ! How will God 
ever receive one so weak, so faithless as I ! Will God ever 
give me more faith ? I must come ; I will come ; but oh, 
sir, 'tis hard to break away from all at home. What shall 
I do?" 

' During the next month I went away on another 
preaching tour ; and on my return home on Saturday 
evening, the first words I heard were, " Chennappa and 
Nagappa have just come in from Sundoor ; they want you 
to baptize them to-morrow morning." My heart was 
indeed glad. On Sunday morning, in the presence of 
a large congregation, these two young men renounced 
idolatry ; Chennappa gave up his Linga, Nagappa his 
sacred thread, and were baptized as Christians. Nagappa's 
father, who was himself not far from the kingdom of heaven, 
rather rejoiced than otherwise that his son had publicly 
declared himself a Christian. But the following day 
Chennappa's mother and aunt and brothers and others of 
his relations came to him, wept and wailed, entreated him. 
They had brought money with them to pay the priests 
whatsoever they might charge to purify him and receive 
him back again to his caste ; but he declared to them his 
faith in Jesus, and begged them all to join him. 'Twas sad 
to see his mother weep ; 'twas hard to resist her entreaties 
and refuse her requests ; but he could not give up Christ 
to follow her and be with her. They went away home to 
mourn over him as dead ; his wife would not join him ; 
she was taken by her friends, who sympathized with her 
and pitied her as a widow ; the children were regarded as 
orphans. Chennappa loved his wife, and would gladly 

II. H 


have received her ; he yearned for his children. He sought 
several times to see them in Sundoor, but was not allowed. 
The little boy died and was buried ; the father rejoiced 
that the spirit of his little one had been taken up into 
glory ; he was afraid that his little girl would be badly 
brought up amongst heathen relations ; and we did our 
best to get her for her father, but every attempt failed.' 

Here is another example which illustrates how the 
Gospel is quietly making way in many parts of India : — 

'Years ago, after a long tour, during which we had 
preached in more than fifty towns and villages, a man 
of the Rajput caste came to us and said: — "You have 
been preaching in many places with which I am acquainted ; 
the people are talking about it, and are often conversing on 
the words you spoke : near the town from which I come is 
a villaofe called Maruvani, where are several men who have 
made up their minds to become Christians." We gave 
Kappa Sing as much instruction as we could in two days, 
placed some books in his hands, and sent him to his home. 
Eiyappa, a middle-aged man, a goldsmith by trade, very 
intelligent, well versed in Hinduism, one of the company 
Kappa Sing had spoken of, came into Bellary to visit us, 
and to learn all he could about Christianity ; and returned 
to report concerning what he had seen and heard. 

' More than a year passed, when eight men from Maru- 
vani sought us out and declared their wish to become 
Christians. They had read several Christian books, had 
heard the Gospel preached, and declared that there were 
prophetic words in their own Hindu books which j^ointed 
them to Jesus as their Teacher and Lord. They seemed 
to us very much to resemble the wise men from the East, 
who were guided by the star to where Jesus was ; we 
preached joyfully to them, and every word of the Gospel 
seemed precious to them. We told them they had belter 
return to their homes and tell their companions what they 
had seen and heard, and come to us again as soon as they 
could. One of them, Virabhadrappa, said, " I shall not 
return till I am baptized ; if you are not willing to baptize 


me at once, I will remain till you see fit." We baptized 
him, and he went away rejoicing to bring his wife and three 

' In a fortnight five whole families, numbering nineteen 
persons, came, gave evidence that they were in earnest, 
proved that they knew a good deal of Christian truth, and 
were baptized. A few weeks after they returned home, 
twenty more persons followed their companions, and we 
had in Maruvani a Christian congregation of forty persons. 
This was altogether a new experience to us ; we had been 
accustomed to receive one or two or three caste men at 
a time ; and in most instances, on professing their faith in 
Christ, they had been cut off from wives, parents, and all 
their relatives. Here were men with their wives and 
children coming together, the women as earnest as the 
men — unbroken families. We gave God thanks for this, 
the beginning of better days! Another most interesting 
and significant feature of this gathering was that several 
castes were represented. There were three Rajputs, fom' 
Komatis, two families of Kabberus \ Lingaits, Goldsmiths ; 
and one splendid young man, a priest, who was ruler over 
a large number of smaller priests, who held the revenues of 
several monasteries and temples. 

'A single family won to Christ from any of the higher 
castes produces a profound impression upon the whole 
caste. It is like a breach effected in a strongly fortified 
castle. During recent years we have had many such 
additions to our numbers in the Bellary district ; the effect 
has been great upon a large community of the heathen. 

'There are many men and women in India who believe 
in, who love Christ, who have not publicly professed their 
faith. Amongst such was numbered for years one of the 
truest-hearted men I have known. We conversed together 
as Christian brethren, and our fellowship was refreshing 
and inspiring. I was troubled because he did not profess 
his faith ; and one day said to him, " When will you be 
baptized ? " He replied, '• I can't say." I asked him to tell 
^ ' Fisherman's caste.' 


me frankly the cause of his delay. He said with much 
emotion, pointing to his wife, " She is the cause ; she does 
not believe as I do ; she will not give up her caste. I love 
her dearly ; if I were to be baptized she would leave me. 
and who knows what would become of her. I cannot leave 
her." We agreed to pray that God would turn her heart. 
We waited long ; prayers were at length answered ; the 
influence of the Christian loving husband wrought wonders 
upon the wife. One day, on my arrival in the town, he 
came to me jubilant, and said, " The happy day has at 
length come, my wife and her mother are both ready ; 
will you baptize us this evening ? " After the baptism we 
had a meal together, and I was struck with her utter 
repudiation of all caste observances, and said, " I am sur- 
prised to see how thoroughly you have put away caste." 
She caught up my words and said, " Did you say you were 
surprised ? I am astonished that you should be surprised. 
Did not you and my husband pray that God would cast 
out all such devils from me, and now that He has heard 
your prayer and cast them out, and I am sitting in a right 
mind at His feet, you say you are surprised." This was 
a triumph of faith and love, for which we praised God with 
joyful heart. 

' The Indian Christian home will be a great power in the 
land, and do much to commend the Gospel. One of our 
young men, a convert from Hinduism, married a young 
widow who was also a convert. The friends on both sides 
were astonished, and professed to be scandalized. The 
fathers were dead, the mothers living. The young people 
were for some time cut off from all fellowship with kindred, 
by whom they were treated as outcasts. Report said they 
had a very happy home ; old friends could not resist the 
curiosity to visit them, and the most fastidious stickler for 
Hindu customs could see nothing to find fault with, The 
wife's mother was drawn at last, and made most welcome. 
Provision was made for her to cook for herself; for she 
could not eat what was cooked by a Christian, though her 
own daughter. The old lady had never been in such a 


home before ; she was prevailed upon to stay for weeks ; 
her heart was won ; caste prejudice vanished ; she became 
a Christian, and has never left the home. The husband's 
mother came to see her son, and was even more demon- 
strative than the other in her praise of the Christian home. 
She said, " I have several sons. One left me and became 
a Christian, I thought he was an outcast ; one became 
a fakir, and I felt proud of him. I see now for myself what 
they are. The Christian's home is like heaven, the fakir's 
home is a dunghill." ' 

In 1876 and i(S77 one of the worst famines that ever 
devastated India raged over the central and southern 
portions. The distress in Bellary was terrible, and 
JVlr. Coles and Mr, Lewis gave themselves to the task of 
distributing relief. Mr. Coles started a famine orphanage 
where the boys were taught trades. The distress in 
Bellary, Belgaum, Cuddapah, and other districts was 
terrible. The people sold their cattle, and houses, and 
clothes to buy food, and flocked naked and starving from 
the villages into the towns, there often to die by the hundred. 
The Government, when once alive to the magnitude of the 
impending disaster, took active measures to begin public 
works, and to establish relief camps. The selfish side of 
heathenism was illustrated by the fact that whilst from 
England hundreds of thousands of pounds were sent to 
relieve the perishing, very few wealthy Hindus contributed 
to the relief fund ; and that while Government officials were 
straining every nerve and exhausting themselves in their 
efforts to relieve distress, the Hindu officials sometimes 
enriched themselves by robbing their starving countrymen 
of the money from the relief funds with which they had 
been entrusted. 

The friends of the London Missionary Society contributed 
a fund of ^10,665 to the relief, and this was distributed by 
the missionaries. In this labour Mr. Lewis toiled in season 
and out of season. He gave relief without distinction of 
caste or creed ; and while many in their gratitude were 
wishful to become Christians, his invariable reply was that 


they should wait until the famine was over, and then see. 
He had a great fear of ' rice-Christians.' His services were 
recognized beyond missionary circles. Sir Richard Temple 
visited the district three times, and on each occasion sent 
for Mr. Lewis to get his report on the state of affairs. The 
Governor-General and the Famine Commissioner also came, 
and on these occasions Mr. Lewis had personal interviews 
with them. Although Government officials were often 
robbed, and although Mr. Lewis often travelled by night, 
carrying with him five or six thousand rupees, and attended 
by only his horse-keeper, he was never once attacked. 

Mr. Lewis visited England in i8<S4, and again in 1894. 
Prior to the last visit he had devoted much time to the 
Canarese and Telugu Bible revision, the committees for 
these both meeting at Bellary. In February, 1896. at the 
request of the Directors, he visited Australia, and travelled 
there for some months as a deputation for the Society. 
He returned to Bellary in December, 1896, but was only 
spared to carry on his loved labour there for a few months. 
He died after a brief illness, November 15, 1897, after 
thirty-two years of active service. His son, Edwin Herbert 
Lewis, joined the Bellary Mission the same year. 

In I (S87 Mr. Coles, who had been in coimection with the 
Bellary Mission since 1849, was transferred to Bangalore to 
succeed Mr. Benjamin Rice. From 1 870 to 1890 Mr. Haines, 
as the chief portion of his duties, superintended the educa- 
tional work of the Wardlaw Institution. The Rev. H. F. W. 
Lester joined the mission in 1888, and in 1890 the Rev. 
Bernard Lucas was transferred from Pcnukonda to Bellary. 
The present condition of the district at the close of the 
century is clearly outlined in Mr. Lewis' report for 1890. 

' The work in the district grows in importance, in interest, 
and success from year to year. Preaching tours have 
always had a charm for us. Years ago we hoped that in 
time we should see out-stations established and churches 
formed as the result of our preaching. We had six such 
out-stations at the close of 1880, with 123 Christian people ; 
at the end of 1890 we had eleven stations, manned by nine 


catechists, with 236 Christian people, sixty-nine of whom 
were communicants. In 1881 Gooty was handed over to 
Mr. Stephenson. In 1889 two others of our old out- 
stations — Anantapur and Bukkapatnam — were handed over 
to the new mission, which will in future be known as the 
Anantapur Mission. Hampasagara and Hadagally were 
made out-stations in 1883 ; Guntakal was occupied in 1886; 
Alur in 1887; Hudevu and Siragupa in 1888; and 
Kudatani in 1890. In the ten years eighty-four adults 
and 101 children were baptized in the district; thirty-four 
Christian people died. Each of the out-stations has become 
a centre of work and influence, and calls for much more 
attention than we can give. The power of native Christian 
home-life is more widely recognized than ever, and is telling 
upon the heathen population. 

'The Church at Hospett, which is one of our oldest out- 
stations, has supplied us during the ten years with four 
young men who are employed as catechists, and promises 
more in a few years. A new chapel was built at Sandur in 
1888, at a cost of 2,500 rupees. A chapel is now being 
built at Guntakal, and a school-room, which will be used 
as a chapel, is nearly finished in Kudatani. 

' Colportage has been successfully carried on during the 
past decade. There are very few towns in the district 
where Scripture portions and tracts are not found, and 
every year we see evidence that the books distributed 
are read. 

' In Bruce Pettah Church, in the town of Bellary, the 
attendance, both at the Canarese and Tamil services, has 
been good. A hearty response has always been given to 
the call for special services. The prayer meeting is well 
attended. A large proportion of those on the church rolls 
ten years ago have died ; others have taken their places ; 
there are now in the church more young people than at 
any previous time, and others are seeking admission. The 
Kowl Bazaar Church has been fluctuating. One year 
the membership has been strong, another year weak, as 
our people have been able to get employment in Bellary, 


or been obliged to seek work elsewhere. The congrega- 
tion was less at the end of icSyo than it was ten years ago.' 

The Wardlaw Institution in i^>90, on the transference of 
Mr. Haines to Belgaum, passed under the care of Mr. J. P. 
Cotelingam, M.A., one of the ablest and most highly 
educated native Christians in South India. Under his 
superintendence the Institution has become even more 
useful than in the past. 

Mrs. Lewis was for many years most energetic in the 
work of female education. In 1H92 Miss Christlieb, Miss 
Fooks, and Miss Haskard joined the mission, and the two 
former were stationed at Hospett, Miss Fooks married 
Mr, Hinkley, of Anantapur, and in 1H96 Miss Beatrice 
Harband took up work at Bellary. Miss Christlieb carried 
on an active evangelistic work among the villagers around 
Hospett. Miss Haskard superintended the Bible-women 
and zenana work. 

2. Bangalore. Bangalore is the second city of South 
India, with a population of 100,000, and is situated on the 
highest part of the Mysore plateau, 3,000 feet above the sea, 
and possesses in consequence a very pleasant climate. It is 
midway between the east and west coasts ; and so gets the 
advantages of both monsoons, without the full force of 
either. It consists of two distinct townships. One is the 
Petta, or original Hindu town, about two square miles in 
size, and with now about 80,000 people living in closely 
packed mud houses. Much trade is done here, and at the 
head of the main street stands the Fort. The other town- 
ship is known as the Cantonment, or the Civil and Military 
Station. It contains the barracks and the European 
residences, and a native quarter with about 100,000 people. 
In the Petta and the district generally, Canarese is 
spoken ; in the cantonment, Tamil and Hindustani. The 
climate has attracted to Bangalore a considerable European 

This most important centre was early noted as a suitable 
spot for missionary labours, but the immediate occasion of 


the founding there of a station was the report of a visit 
which Mr. Hands, in the course of an itinerating journey, 
paid in September, 181 7. The Directors, aided by his 
report and strong recommendation, in 181 9 appointed two 
Gosport students, the Rev. Stephen Laidler and the Rev. 
Andrew Forbes, to begin the mission. They reached 
Bangalore, which had already become a great military 
centre, in the early part of 1820. Mr. Forbes, on being 
instructed about three years later to remove to Belgaum, 
resigned ; Mr. Laidler carried on the work until the end 
of 1826, when he returned to England, and soon after left 
the Society. The Rev. J. W. Massie joined the mission in 
1824. His chief work was the attempt to found, together 
with Mr. Laidler, a seminary to be called the Mysore 
College. This project, which was outlined upon a very 
ambitious scale, and in the direction afterwards so suc- 
cessfully followed by Dr. Duff and others, the Directors 
ultimately could not see their way to sanction, and in 
December, 1826, Mr. Massie left Bangalore, and in 1827 
resigned his connection with the Society. 

Owing to the hostility of the native Government, Mysore 
being an independent state, it was very difficult to get 
access to the Hindus. Preaching in the native town was 
forbidden, and every obstacle was put in the way of native 
Christian evangelists residing in the villages. Thus the 
early mission-work was rather among the Europeans and 
the soldiers. A chapel was opened in 1821. Work among 
the Hindus was really begun by a remarkable native 
Christian named Samuel Flavel, already mentioned in 
connection with Bellary, and brought from Madras by 
Mr. Laidler. 

The Mysore Province is Canarese country, but in Banga- 
lore Cantonment there are large numbers of Tamil-speaking 
natives. Consequently Christian work has been carried 
on in both languages from the foundation of the mission. 
From the first also the importance of educational work has 
been recognized. The Rev. W. Campbell reached the 
station in 1824. He devoted himself almost exclusively 

io6 SOUTH INDIAN MISSIONS: lS20-l8f).'i 

to the Canarese-speaking natives, and established a church 
and congregation about 1H27, together with a boarding 
school and a theological seminary. 

Mr. Campbell had permitted the parents of the children 
in the boarding school, who were paid for allowing their 
children to attend, to build houses and live in the mission 
compound, and thus form what was called the Christian 
village. In Campbell's judgment this was a model 
arrangement, and he wrote home the most glowing eulogies 
of his converts. What really happened was that the sums 
paid to induce the children to attend school enabled their 
parents to live in idleness. While outwardly professing 
Christianity, and attending Christian services, they remained 
in all other respects Hindus, maintained caste, and indulged 
freely in every form of native abomination. 

From I 827 to I S34 William Reeve was stationed in Banga- 
lore, and there completed his great work, the Canarese and 
English Dictionary. This considerable achievement is one 
of the many examples of what scholarship owes to mis- 
sionaries. It was the first dictionary of the language, and 
will ever remain a monument of the industry and learning 
of this skilful and laborious pioneer. In 1834, through 
failing health, Mr. Reeve left India, and in 1836 became 
pastor of the Congregational Church at Oswestry. He 
died in 1850. 

In 1834 Mr. Campbell built the Cantonment Chapel, on 
the site of the small one which had been erected by 
Mr. Laidler. At first English, Tamil, and Canarese 
services were all held in this building, but in 1837 a chapel 
for Canarese services was built in the Petta, and there ever 
since they have been carried on. In 1832 Mrs. Campbell's 
health compelled her return to England; and in 1835, 
because of Mr. Campbell's desire to follow his wife home, 
the Rev. Colin Campbell, w^hose original destination was 
Bellary, was sent to Bangalore. He was young, he knew 
hardly anything of the language, but in less than three 
months after his arrival Mr. W. Campbell left him to get 
on as be-st he could, and returned to England. 


Colin Campbell had keener eyes than William Campbell, 
and very soon found reason to distrust the Christian village, 
and finally, in 1H37, the village was dissolved. Although 
the teachers and converts all affirmed that they had given 
up caste, when an opportunity was provided for them to 
eat with the missionaries they all declined. It was then 
discovered that not only was caste maintained, but drunken- 
ness and vice were prevalent, and the village was bringing 
much dishonour vipon the Christian name. W. Campbell 
in England, not unnaturally, refused to believe that the 
converts he had praised so often and so highly could be 
so bad. He persuaded the Directors that the trouble was 
traceable to Colin Campbell's youth and inexperience. 
The Rev. John Hands, who was returning to India from a 
furlough soon after the village was dissolved, was instructed 
to go to Bangalore and put things straight. When he 
arrived he soon found that the missionaries on the spot 
were right, and that William Campbell was in the wrong. 
The details of this case are important, and also typical of 
the fate of similar experiments elsewhere. They show how 
dangerous it is to pay converts, even indirectly. 

In January, 1^37, Benjamin -Rice and Gilbert Turnbull 
joined the mission ; the latter to labour there only a few 
months and then to die in Sydney, the former to spend 
more than fifty years in active service. From 1S3H to 1840 
Mr. Hands was at Bangalore, and in 1838 the Rev. James 
Sewell joined the mission. During the next thirty or 
forty years these three — Campbell, Rice, and Sewell — were 
associated in the Bangalore Mission. Much itinerating 
work also was done in the district around. The vernacular 
schools were provided with good textbooks by Mr. Rice, 
and Mr. Campbell wrote a Canarese grammar. 

In 1840 Mrs. Sewell estabHshcd a Canarese girls' day 
school in the Petta, and in 1841 a second school was started. 
These were the first schools of the kind in this part of 
India, attracted a great deal of attention, and did much to 
prepare the way for female education. These schools had 
to contend with all the opposition which is awakened by 


a novel movement. But they were patiently maintained 
by Mrs. Sevvell and Mrs. Rice, and extended. In 1865 
the Misses Anstey took charge of and further extended 
them. The movement was now beginning to be popular, 
and the four contained some 500 girls. Two girls of the 
weaver caste were baptized, and their baptism led to much 
litigation. Miss Anstey resigned in 1H75. Since then the 
schools have been carried on by the Rev. B. Rice and 
Miss MuUer, and zenana work has also been started. 

In 184] another important movement was initiated — the 
Theological Seminary. Students were collected from the 
various South Indian mission stations of the Society. The 
buildings were on the mission premises in the cantonment. 
Mr. K. Crisp began the work, and in 1H45 J. Sugden arrived 
to assist him. The classes were conducted in Tamil, as 
Mr. Crisp had thoroughly mastered only that vernacular. 
Some attempts were made, without much success, to teach 
the students English. This Anglo-Tamil seminary lived 
only seven years. Some of the students were well on in 
years ; there were no good vernacular books, and the Tamil 
missionaries not resident in Bangalore thought Madras a 
better centre for a seminary. Hence in June, 1H49, 
it was discontinued with a view to re-establishment in 
Madras on different lines. 

At the same time an Anglo-Canarese seminary was 
instituted with Mr. Sewell as tutor. In this the students 
were to be young men of acknowledged piety, with sufficient 
control of English to use it for the acquisition of knowledge. 
Their own language was also to be carefully studied. In 
this way it was intended to combine the advantages of 
both English and vernacular training. 

In 1842 the Canarese boarding schools for boys and girls 
were re-established under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Rice, 
and they have been maintained ever since. 

From 1840 to 1850 Mr. Colin Campbell was at Mysore, 
where a new station had been opened. In 1850 this was 
abandoned, because the Wesleyan Missionary Society had 
also opened work there, and it was not thought desirable 


for both missions to be working where there was only 
scope for one. Out of the proceeds of the sale of the 
mission property at Mysore, a substantial Canarese church 
was built in the Petta, Bangalore. Mr. Sugden, after the 
closing of the seminary, acted as general missionary 
among the Tamil people. Mr. Crisp returned to England 
in 1848. 

As a necessity of its position and advantages, Bangalore 
became an important centre for educational work, for Bible 
and tract production and circulation, for Bible revision, 
and in more recent years for Christian work among 
educated Hindus. 

Benjamin Rice early perceived the enormous possibilities 
of education. In a letter to the Rev. T. Lewis, dated 
June 24, 1839, he writes : — 

' I look upon education as a very important means of 
diffusing the Gospel in India, especially a good English 
education on Christian principles. The schools in con- 
nection with the General Assembly's Mission at Calcutta, 
Bombay, and Madras are beginning to tell amazingly 
upon the people. Dr. Wilson, at Bombay, has lately 
baptized three young Parsees who had attended his school : 
and at Madras, I believe, there are many who are fully 
convinced of the truth of Christianity, and who are only 
prevented from making a public profession through fear of 
the consequences. The respectable natives are beginning 
to perceive what powerful engines these institutions are in 
the hands of the missionaries, and are warning parents, 
through the medium of the native newspapers, not to send 
their children. They have also attempted to establish 
opposition schools in which heathenism is to be taught. 
But these efforts are vain. In spite of all they can say 
or do, the schools are still full. The advantages of the 
superior education imparted are too manifest to allow of 
their being neglected. When it is remembered that every 
boy who passes through those institutions is thoroughly 
imbued with Biblical knowledge, who can estimate the 
amount of influence which a constant succession of such 


youths, going forth and taking their stations in society, 
may exert upon the people at large ^ ?' 

The rapid changes caused by failure of health in almost 
all the South Indian missions has all through the century 
emphasized the views put forth by many of the ablest 
missionaries that more concentration and less attempts to 
cover too wide an area should be made. And yet at the 
close of the century facts tend to show that the governing 
bodies of the various Societies have not yet perfectly learned 
what seems so clearly taught by the experience of the past. 
In 1841 Mr. Rice points out :^ — 

' The Divine dispensations in regard to missionaries in 
India are just now very trying. How many both of our 
own and of other Societies have been either obliged to 
abandon the field on account of sickness, or have been 
removed by death ! If these things lessen our dependence 
on man, and lead us to lift up our eyes more earnestly and 
constantly to Him from whom alone our help can come, 
their result will be eminently beneficial. I cannot say, 
howevei', that I am altogether surprised at the sickness 
and death of so many of our brethren. The amount of 
mental labour and anxiety which a missionary, if he be 
ardently and faithfully devoted to his work, has in general 
to undergo in a climate like this, vutst break down his 
constitution or shorten his days. Concentration of effort 
and division of labotLr are what we want -.' 

During the sufferings and horrors of the Mutiny, the 
three Indian Universities were founded at Calcutta, Madras, 
and Bombay. Mr. B. Rice returned from a three years' 
visit to England in 1856, and, realizing from his knowledge 
of India and the Hindus the expansion of life and thought 
that was coming, gave more time and thought than before 
to education. We have seen that as early as 1822 English 
was used to instruct Christian natives, and the premature 
Mysore College scheme has been referred to. It was not 

' Be>ija'/iin Rice ; or, Fifty Years in the Master's Service, by E. P. Rice, B. A., 
p. 58. 

=* Ibid. p. 68. 


until 1 H47 that the use of EngUsh schools for the instruction 
of Hindus began at Bangalore. 

' In that year an Anglo-vernacular school was started in 
l^angalore, the English studies being superintended by the 
Rev. J. B. Coles, and the vernacular by Benjamin Rice. 
For the first five years it was conducted in the mud build- 
ing in the Pettah, which served the common purpose of 
chapel, mission hall, and school. When that building was 
replaced by the present more ecclesiastical place of worship, 
the school was transferred to a rented house opposite, 
where it had its home for the next ten years. 

' It continued to contain about a hundred scholars until 
1858, when Benjamin Rice, just returned from England 
with renewed health and zeal, brought his energy to bear 
upon it. It then rose rapidly in numbers ; a second scho(jl 
was opened in the Cantonment, and in 1859 the two in- 
stitutions contained 397 pupils. The rented house in 
which the school was held being very inconvenient for 
school purposes, it became necessary to seek for better 
accommodation. Within the crowded Pettah no site was 
available, but just outside the gate there was a shallow 
portion of the old Pettah moat. For this unpromising- 
looking site Benjamin Rice applied in 1861, not without 
exciting curiosity as to what use he could make of it. It 
chanced, however, that a pond was being excavated almost 
immediately opposite, and he asked that the soil might be 
cast into this hollow ; and when it had been thus filled up, 
a neat little school was erected, which was the germ of the 
present High School building. 

'A second branch school was opened in 1863, and the 
school went on and prospered. Until 1866 the three 
institutions had an average of 350 pupils. Since that date 
it has been under the care of Mr. Walton. It has shared 
in full measure the popularity of similar institutions, and 
has been the means of training large numbers of Hindu 
young men of the higher classes, as well as of giving 
a good education to the children of native Christians ^' 
^ Benjamin Rice, jip. 151, 152. 


In if^64, upon the return to England of Mr. Sewell, the 
headship of the Theological Seminary, together with the 
secretariat of the South Indian District Committee, also 
came upon Mr. Rice. 

' The Theological Seminary contained students from the 
Canarese and Telugu stations of the Society who were 
preparing for the work of evangelists and pastors. The 
studies were conducted chiefly in English, and were of 
great interest to the tutor himself. The great difficulty 
of the work consisted in the lack of textbooks suited to 
the requirements of the country. Much labour was spent 
in the preparation of lectures for the students. A Church 
History in English was carefully compiled, some small 
works translated into Canarese on Christian doctrine and 
Homiletics, and a manual prepared of Bible History in 
connection with the general history of the world. The 
patience and pains he bestowed upon the students, and 
the interest he took in all their affairs, bound them to him 
by ties of affection. 

' He continued to preside over the seminary until 1872, 
and the standard of education attained by each generation 
of students was steadily rising. In the height of its pros- 
perity, however, it was closed by order of the Directors, 
who had an idea that the number of native agents was 
already too large. The step was deeply regretted and 
strongly deprecated by all the missionaries of the com- 
mittee, but their pleadings were in vain ^.' 

This was a most unhappy decision on the part of the 
home authorities. It was due to the idea that the number 
of native agents already in the employ of the Society bore 
too large a proportion to the strength of the Christian 
community, and that, therefore, men were not needed. 
After a period of ten years the mistake was recognized 
and repaired as far as it might be by the reopening of the 
seminary in 1883, again under the charge of Mr. Rice. 
But many most valuable years had been lost ; the momen- 
tum of a continuously growing movement was lost ; 
^ Bciija/nin Rice, pp. 157, 15S, 

J. B. Coles 


John Hay 


Mrs. Portek 



and the confidence of the native Christians that, if they 
gave themselves to the ministry, the Society would and 
could find work for them, received a shock from which it 
has hardly yet recovered. On Mr. Rices death the in- 
stitution passed under the care of, first, J. B. Coles, and then 
of G. O. Newport. The former died in I'Sqi, and the latter 
in 1894, and the presidency passed into the hands of the 
Rev. Walter Joss. 

The famine of 1877—8 swept away one-fourth of the 
population of Mysore, and Bangalore was the centre of 
many heart-rending scenes. 

' Here, as elsewhere, the calamity suddenly swept onward 
with a rush which foresight could not anticipate, and which 
measures of palliation were unable to cope with. Actual 
starvation, with its attendant train of diseases, soon became 
common. The miserable inhabitants, losing all traditions 
of social cohesion, flocked into Bangalore by thousands, 
only to die in the streets of the cantonments. On the one 
hand, grain was poured into Bangalore by the Madras 
Railway ; but the means for bringing the food to the 
hungry mouths were inadequate. When the rains of 1877 
again held off, during July and August, the crowds at the 
relief centres increased, and the mortality became very 
great. It was in these circumstances, at the beginning of 
September, that the Viceroy visited Bangalore, and directed 
the adoption of a system of relief based on that followed 
in the Bombay Presidency. The labourers were to be 
concentrated on large works, and the relief establishment 
was generally augmented. The suffering reached its worst 
in September, 1877, when a total of 280,000 persons 
throughout the State were in receipt of relief, of whom 
only 24,000 were employed on works under professional 
supervision. In that month the famine deaths reported 
in the town of Bangalore averaged about forty a day, 
while double that number perished daily in the relief 
camps and hospitals. 

' Benjamin Rice was a member of the local Famine 
Committee which sat during the crisis. And when large 

II. I 


numbers of fatherless children were left on the hands of 
the State, and were being entrusted to various philan- 
thropic agencies and missions to be cared for, he resolved, 
although he had no resources on which to depend for their 
maintenance, to receive a number of boys and girls, and 
for this purpose to re-establish the long-closed Boys' 
Boarding School. Seventy boys and girls were thus 
received, all in a very emaciated condition. It was found 
that the boys had passed through much greater sufferings 
than the girls — for while the girls had. on the death 
of their parents, come straight to the Government relief 
camps, the boys had generally wandered about for some 
time, satisfying the pangs of hunger on the pith of trees 
and other injurious substances, and had thus contracted 
diseases to which they sooner or later succumbed. Many 
of the boys thus died, but almost all the girls survived ; 
and those who should now see them, some in homes of 
their own, and some still in the school, would never imagine 
what scenes they had passed through in that time of triaP.' 

In January, 1H87, the Rev. B. Rice completed fifty years 
of missionary service, during which long period he had 
visited England only once. An event so unusual and so 
full of interest was duly celebrated at Bangalore. He had 
devoted much attention to vernacular literature, and to the 
auxiliaries of the Religious Tract Society and of the British 
and Foreign Bible Society, and also to the work of Bible 
revision. Many addresses and marks of appreciation of 
his long and varied services were presented to him from 
the Directors, the South Indian District Committee, the 
Mysore Wesleyan Mission, and other bodies and friends. 
In his reply it was but natural that he should take many 
retrospective glances, and the words of so competent a 
judge deserve more than passing notice. 

' In India, considering the gigantic difficulties which 
have to be overcome, the progress made in missionary 
labour is remarkable indeed. It is not sixty years since 
an order was issued by the Indian Government that 

' Benjamin Khe, pp. 159, 160. 


" missionaries must not preach to natives." Now the 
officers of Government themselves praise the work done 
by missionaries. Then it was with difficulty that Hindus 
could be induced to send their children to Christian 
schools. N'oiv they flock to them by thousands. Then 
few natives would take Christian books even as a gift. 
No7v they buy them in great numbers. Then the education 
of women was looked upon with utter contempt. A^ozv the 
education of the girls of India receives more attention than 
did that of the boys forty years ago. Nor is the increase 
in the number of native Christians less encouraging, the 
number in Protestant Missions having risen from 37,000 
in 1 83 1 to nearly 500,000 in 188 1, when the last census was 

' Here in the Mysore Province also the progress has been 
very marked. When I came to India, Bangalore was the 
only Canarese Mission station in the Mysore. Now 
numerous stations and out-stations are established, and in 
activ^e operation, throughout the country. 

' So far as my own station is concerned, all the results of 
the past five decades of missionary work are known to God 
alone. So far as they are tabulated, the Report for 1836 
states that the number of native Christians, Canarese and 
Tamil, :/hen in connection with the London Mission was 
100; communicants, 26. In 1886 the numbers reported 
are 444; communicants, 171. To these numbers should 
be added fully half as many again, for deaths and removals 
to other stations. In 1836 there were only two or three 
small schools — and school-books no7ie. Nozv we have 
schools numbering hundreds of pupils, well supplied with 
teachers, books^ and school apparatus. Then there were 
scarcely any suitable tracts for circulation amongst the 
people, and the Scriptures were only to be had in an 
inconvenient form, and in a translation which, though good 
as a first effort, yet needed much revision. Now we have 
a variety of publications — the Scriptures have been revised 
and published in convenient forms — and instead of being 
given away, Christian books are solel. The number of 

I 2 


native cvani^elists lias increased. Native pastors have 
been appointed to the churches. Out-stations have been 
formed. And the progress of the mission would have 
been greater still, had the Directors of our Society been 
able to respond to the appeals we have made from time 
to time for extension of our work. 

' Nor must the blessing which has attended the efforts 
of the female members of the mission be omitted ; witness 
the pious and intelligent wives and mothers raised up in 
the Boarding School, and the flourishing girls' day schools 
that have been established. 

' So much for the past : what of the future ? Have we 
not good grounds for believing that progress will go on in 
an increasing ratio — that the results in coming years will 
be even greater than in the past ? As a recent writer has 
truly said : " India is just entering upon a career of 
transition, preparatory to the establishment of a new order 
of things, and we have every reason to believe that the 
native Christian community, which is making steady and 
solid progress in every direction, is destined to play by 
no means an insignificant part in the regeneration of their 
country." Yes, faith can realize even now a glorious 
prospect. Steadfast and persevering effort is alone needed 
to bring about a grand consummation '.' 

The jubilee celebrations were barely over when the 
veteran's labours on earth ceased, and he passed to the 
higher service of heaven. On February 9, 1887, he gently 
slept away. Four years later another South Indian 
veteran, the Rev. J. B. Coles, died, on January 2, 1891. 
He began and he closed his long career of forty-seven 
years' service at Bangalore, although it was at Bellary 
that he spent the years 1849 to 1886 -. 

In 1874 the Rev. Colin Campbell, who for nearly 
forty years had been on the active staff of the Society, 
retired. When on the point of relinquishing work he said : 
' Preaching to the heathen in town and country, in the 

^ Benjamin Rice, \>^. 178-80. 
^ See page 91. 


Canarese tongue, has been my principal work during all 
my time in India. I have laboured according to the grace 
given, and I praise God for what I have seen of the 
progress of the work since I came to India in i<S35.' To 
succeed him in this special department of evangelistic and 
itinerating service, the Directors had in 1H73 appointed 
the Rev. E. P. Rice, B.A., a son of Benjamin Rice ; and 
he, for the next eighteen years, itinerated over the large 
district connected with Bangalore. In i^gi he, accom- 
panied by Mr. Hickling and Mr. Cairns, established a new 
mission at Chikka Ballapura, thirty-five miles north of 
Bangalore, a place which for many years had been worked 
as an out-station. His work in Bangalore then i)assed to 
the care of the Rev. W. J. Lawrence. 

Towards the end of 1882 the Rev. T, E. Slater removed 
from Madras to Bangalore, to carry on his special work 
among educated non-Christian Hindus. From Banga- 
lore as a centre Mr. Slater also visited other large towns, 
such as Bellary, Belgaum, and Cuddapah. This is one 
of the most recent and most important developments 
of mission-work in India. The Government schools and 
universities are rapidly educating large numbers of the 
highest caste Hindus, and at the same time almost 
ostentatiously refusing to exert the slightest religious 
influence upon them. Government provides an education 
that almost necessarily and automatically shatters any faith 
they have in Hinduism, and makes English essential to 
Government employ. Hindus are thus exposed to the 
assaults of Western infidelity, and yet the Indian Govern- 
ment has so frowned upon Christianity, that until quite 
recently it was a positive disadvantage for a native 
in respect to employment to be an avowed Christian. 
Until recent years also there has been a lack of fully 
qualified native Christians. The mission schools now 
turn out large numbers of men annually, quite as well 
equipped as those who go through the Government schools, 
who in addition have received a good head knowledge 
of the Bible and of the essential Christian doctrines, yet 


over whose hearts and consciences the truth has so far 
obtained no controlling power. In the hands of this class, 
able, intelligent, educated, bound to come to the front 
and to exert a controlling influence in social and in political 
life, a large part of the future of India lies. Missionaries 
of all Societies are feeling more and more the importance 
of bringing Christianity to bear upon these men ; and to 
aid in the special work of teaching them, Mr. Slater and 
other experienced men have been set apart. Mr. Slater 
has been in the habit of giving in his annual reports a very 
interesting review of the attitude of the educated Hindu 
community throughout India, in addition to a description 
of the work annually attempted and accomplished in 
Bangalore and the district. Some extracts from that issued 
for the year 1H94 will show how important, how attractive, 
how necessary, and how difficult this department of service 
has become. This contact of the best-educated and yet 
non-Christian mind of India with the Gospel and with the 
culture of the West, represents what will doubtless be the 
great conflict in India during the next century of missionary 
labour and Christian influence. 

Mr. Slater refers to two movements which deeply stirred 
the currents of Hindu thought — the visit of Mrs. Besant to 
India, and her lectures there ; and the career and teaching, 
especially at the Chicago Parliament of Religions, of Swami 

' All these outside influences, not forgetting the crusade 
of Swami Vivekananda in America and his eloquent 
exposition of philosophic Hinduism, have had the effect of 
stimulating national thought and pride ; and just as a 
patriotic feeling in political matters manifests itself in the 
Indian National Congress movement, so in rcHgion a spirit 
of revival is visible throughout the country, in some places 
even working towards an organized Hindu Church. It is 
one of the wavelets of the great roll of civilization coming 
from the West ; and, regarded as a sign of the deep and 
wide changes that are slowly spreading over Indian society, 
it certainly deserves attention. Under the influence of 


British rule, India is being stirred as she never was before. 
The prevaihng feeling at the present time is one of general 
unrest. For good or for evil, many of the things that are 
old are passing away ; much that is new to Indian thought 
and life is pressing itself forward. Instead of the studied 
silence of the past towards religious questions, there is 
a sense of dissatisfaction with many Hindu beliefs and 
rites ; a constant discussion of religious themes, and a con- 
sequent unsettling of long-established faiths, and a reaching 
out after something purer and more reasonable. The same 
feeling is manifested in regard to social customs and political 

' It is remarkable, however, that this feeling does not 
seek fulfilment in the same direction ; but while striving 
after a Western ideal in regard to social and political 
amelioration, it looks to a revival of the most ancient 
national ideas in regard to religion. For the former, the 
modern Hindus welcome the light of Western guidance; 
but as for the latter, they seem at present to refuse to 
recognize the right of the West to guide them. 

' This is sometimes explained by the conviction, said to be 
gaining ground among the educated classes, that the West is 
by no means superior to the East, either in point of morality 
or of religion. Others who look deeper, and are inclined 
to be more friendly, see nothing in Christianity to justify 
the belief that its acceptance by the East should lead to 
moral corruption ; they rather base the present somewhat 
defiant attitude of Hinduism on the more hopeful ground of 
the essential similarity between the two religions. It is 
becoming more and more patent, they say, to all carelul 
students, that the great religions of the world — such as 
Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Christianity — do not differ 
materially in their essential principles and in their more 
important teachings; and that any future creed which the 
Hindus may accept, will have to come in the guise of an 
outgrowth from the system based on their own ancient 

'In two directions, however, the inherent weakness of 


Hinduism is manifesting itself. If it looks to a revival of 
the national faith in regard to religion, how is it that it 
looks to the West for its social and political ideas? In 
this strange divergence, it confesses its utter weakness as 
a social force ; that there is nothing in its ancient institu- 
tions to revive which will fit the nation for its keen struggle 
for existence ; but that for the elaboration of a better order 
in society it must look outside itself. This severance of 
religion from sociology; this failure of Hinduism as 
a reforming agenc}', a regenerator of society, an instrument 
of progress, robs it of half its strength, and encourages the 
Christian advocate to hope that, as the thoughtful men of 
India come to study the sociological results of Christ's 
religion in the West, and see it to be the pioneer of all true 
progress, the only effective agency in destroying the old 
evils, they may be led to pay a deeper respect to its 
underlying and distinctive truths. 

' Another confession of the weakness of Hinduism appears 
in its new treatment of converts to Christianity. Hitherto 
a caste convert has generally been regarded as cutting 
himself off from Hinduism for ever, and he has been 
treated as dead. Now, however, this exclusiveness is 
relaxing, and the door is open for the convert to return. 
Hinduism, acted on by forces that can be no longer ignored, 
cannot afford to be as imperious and independent as it has 
been ; and overtures are made to the deserters. This 
compromising attitude on the part of Hinduism is an 
unmistakable sign of weakness. 

' Christianity and Hinduism are now meeting face to face ; 
and the great lament which we as missionaries have to raise 
is in respect to the /one of mind generally prevalent in the 
country. To so many minds, religious truths appear to 
be little more than the material on which to exercise the 
ingenuity of controversy and speculation. There is enough 
and to spare of criticism and discussion ; but serious thought 
and earnest inquiry are very rare. Besides the spirit of 
false patriotism that is abroad, the materialistic tendency 
of the age deadens the concern for spiritual things. Interest 


in mere worldly pursuits and in amassing wealth seems to 
be just now all-absorbing ; and the " gospel of getting on " 
gains more hearers than any other. If one had not firm 
faith in the instinctive religiousness of the Hindu nature, 
as well as in the unfailing power of the Gospel of Christ, 
and therefore the persuasion that a reaction in favour of 
positive religious belief must assuredly come, the outlook 
would be disheartening. But history is bound to repeat 
itself in India ; and when the people have removed every 
god from their pantheon, they will turn in their need to 
the one true object of human hope and worship — God in 

• With these mingled experiences, gained by constant 
contact with the educated classes, I have laboured through 
another year with ever-increasing interest and thankfulness. 
The work has been carried on upon the old lines — lectures, 
discu.ssions, cla.sses, house-visitation, literature ; it being 
difficult to devise any new and more suitable methods. 
But something more than lectures and discussions and 
even classes is required in order to get into friendly touch 
and intimate relations with Hindu gentlemen, so as to 
understand their thought and religious position ; and that 
is private interviews. Many of my most pleasant and 
profitable hours — generally in the early morning between 
eight and ten, and occasionally in the afternoon — have been 
spent in this way. All shades of thought are met with ; 
from sheer religious indifference, up through the gradations 
of materialism, pessimism, agnosticism, pantheism, and 
theism, to the mind distinctly influenced by the teaching 
and spirit of Christ. In no country is the attitude towards 
religious questions so diversified, and the fermentation of 
thought so great.' 

At the Calcutta Missionary Conference, 1S92-3, Mr. 
Slater read an exhaustive paper on this great subject 
of work among the educated classes'. He showed that 

' All the papers and speeches at this session of the Conference are full of 
valuable information upon this most important subject. See Report, vol. i, 
PP- 258-313- 


although in 1891 only one-seventh of the population had 
received a7/y education, and that only about three-quarters 
of a million — that is, one out of every 380 — could speak 
Engh'sh, yet in this number were included the leaders of 
society, of public opinion, of reform, and that no classes 
stood in greater need of the Gospel. He then gave 
a masterly summary of the present position of things in 
India : — 

' Owing to pantheistic perversion, the depraved yet proud 
Hindu intellect, which fails to see any necessary con- 
nection between conviction and practice, needs to be 
regenerated no less than the heart and conscience. 
Intellect and culture, apart from moral stamina and will- 
powef, have often proved perilous to the individual and to 
the State. The secular and destructive system of educa- 
tion that prevails so largely in India, fails to supply any 
new principle of good ; and the Government has, in recent 
\'ears, become alarmed at the growing want of reverence 
and obedience in its schools and colleges. Old restraints 
and religious sanctions are gone, and there are new dangers 
ahead. Drifting from the old moorings, without rudder or 
chart to steer by, many make early shipwreck of their 
souls. There is the intellectual rock of rationalism or 
agnosticism, and the moral rocks of unchastity and intem- 
perance, on which it is to be feared an increasing number 
of young lives are driven. Losing faith in the Hindu 
marvels, and observing that many scientific minds of the 
West have rejected traditional Christianity, many incline 
to disbelieve in any revelation beyond that afforded by 
Nature, and to condemn all miraculous religions as in- 
ventions of designing priestcraft. 

' One of the commonest complaints of the day is the 
weakness of the native ministry — the lack of highly 
educated and forceful men. The efficiency of natives in 
the past has been, the late Bishop Caldwell stated, " in exact 
proportion to their education and attainments." And if 
we are to get a supply of such men, we must look, in the 
main, to the educated classes. The leaders of Hindu 


religious movements, such as the Brahmo Samaj, the men 
who have exercised power over their countrymen, have 
come from these classes : and thoroughly transformed in 
nature, sanctified through and through by the spirit of 
Christ, they must furnish the Indian Church with the best 
trained ministers, the skilled evangelists, the professors of 
theological schools, and the writers of its Christian literature. 
If we are to touch Hinduism proper, we must have men of 
native genius and temperament, of Eastern fervour and 
individuality, who, acquainted with Indian religious thought 
and life, shall sympathetically approach Hindu minds ; men 
who shall not transplant English or American or German 
Christianity, and present a Christ, as Chandra Sen used to 
say, " in hat and boots," but who shall sow the seed of the 
Kingdom, and let it grow ; who, nurtured on the various 
learnings of the East and the West, shall interpret the 
practical West to the philosophic East, and show that 
the relig-ion of Christ is in accord with the best sentiments 
of India's best minds ^. . . . 

'The attitude of educated Hindus towards their own 
religion and towards Christianity depends very largely on 
the influences in which they have been brought up, 
and on the localities where they have been trained. The 
difference between those who have received a purely secular 
education and those who have had the advantages of earnest, 
thoughtful Christian teaching is frequently very marked. 
Even in those more advanced in life, who attended a mission 
school far back in their earlier years, the Gospel appeal 
often meets with a sensitive response. 

' Brahmoism has, I believe, been wellnigh stationary 
since the death of Chandra Sen. In the south, at any 
rate, it is nowhere conspicuous. But the worthy elements 
of Brahmoism— prayer, repentance, moral struggle, self- 
effacing consecration to God, active philanthropy, and 
radical, social, and domestic reforms — are essentially 
Christian, and can flourish only in genuine Christian soil. 

' On this subject generally see Hindu Pastors, by J. Ross Murray, M.A., 
formerly scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge. 


In the meantime. Brahmoism is being overshadowed by 
the Aryan Revival. 

' Set on foot by the Arya Samaj of North India, and 
fanned by that pride of nationality which has been stirring 
in the country, and by the zeal and propaganda of the 
Theosophical Society which extols the past glories of the 
East ; above all, put upon its mettle by the advancing 
power of Christianity, this Indian renaissance or revival, 
not so much of religion as of philosophy, maintains that, 
in its purified form, Hinduism is well able to hold its own 
against every other form of faith. It has, without doubt, 
checked for a time the extension of the Christian Church, 
having come, in many cases, between Christ and the 
awakened conscience of the Hindus. Briefly described, it 
opposes Indian theism — the supposed monotheism of the 
Vedas — to what is called foreign theism, and thus enlists 
on its side the patriotic preference for Indian literature and 

' This development, which will naturally attract many 
of the best minds, has been s}-mpathetically watched by 
Christian missionaries, and can be wisely guided only 
under the impulse of that larger, brighter, healthier thought 
now happily prevailing in the best theology of the day ; 
though the final struggle in India will not be between 
Christianity and a purified Hinduism, but between Christ 
and unbelief. We may rest assured of two things : first, 
that only a simple and broad presentation of Christianity, 
appealing to rational intuitions, attaching less importance 
to dogma and far more to life, and in touch with all true 
social and political aspirations, will be accepted by pro- 
gressive India ; and, secondly, that Christianity will never 
become a national power as long as the people feel that 
it is prejudicial to their native customs and habits of life ; 
that it denationalizes those who accept it, and so withdraws 
from them a large body of their countrymen. 

'With these provisos, the outlook at the end of the 
nineteenth century, though perplexing and disheartening, 
is brightened with hope. It is a time of transition. The 


way is steadily clearing. Bigoted hostility, though still 
deep and pronounced, is nothing like what it was. The 
best thought of India turns not towards Hinduism but 
towards Christ. He, who used to be blasphemed, is now 
revered. There is a general admiration of His life and 
ministry and moral greatness, an acknowledgement that He 
is the crown of character, the highest product of nature, 
though still a holding back from Him the sceptre of divine 

' Until the whole social system relaxes this must continue 
to be our greatest obstacle. Tyrannical custom, intense 
conservatism, popular sentiment, hereditary prejudice — to 
change which is to sin — arc at once the strength and weak- 
ness of Hinduism. India's great need is that awakening of 
conscience and religious convictions, under a sense of sin 
and the power of the Cross, which shall courageously and 
loyally suffer "the loss of all things" that it "may gain 
Christ and be found in Him." ' 

3. Belgaum. Bflgaum is a district in the southern part 
of the Bombay Presidency, and is the only station occupied 
by the Society in that presidency. The district covers 
4.657 square miles, and has a population of about 900,000. 
The town of Belgaum — a military station — contains about 
23,000 people. Marathi, Hindustani, and Canarese arc 
spoken, the last being the leading vernacular. In 1820 
the commanding officer at this station, which is about 1 20 
miles north-west of BcUary, applied to Messrs. Hands and 
Reeve at Bellary to send him a missionary who could work 
among the troops, promising his support should one be 
sent. This request was granted, and Mr. Joseph Taylor 
went. He settled at Belgaum in September, 1820, and 
a Christian Church was soon organized there. In 1830 the 
Rev. W. Beynon was transferred thither from Bellary, and 
acted as colleague to Taylor until the latter's retirement 
in 1854, 

From the commencement of the mission much time was 
devoted to the public preaching of the Gospel in Belgaum 


and Shapore and surrounding country; and to the education 
of the young. Chapels were built, and English, Canarese, 
and Tamil congregations collected. By 1 8 58 upwards of 400 
natives had been baptized, of whom more than half were 
adults, chiefly Tamil people, and a few Muhammadans. 
Of the number baptized, the proportion of Canarese people 
is stated to have been from thirty to thirty-five. The first 
Canarese converts were two Brahmans, Dhondappa and 
Devappa, who were exposed to great persecution, and lost 
considerable property. They were enabled, however, to 
remain steadfast, and died in the faith of Christ at a good 
old age. 

About the year 1830 Messrs. Taylor and Beynon extended 
their labours to Dharwar, where they were invited to 
establish a permanent mission, but were unable to comply. 
The station was subsequently occupied by the missionaries 
of the Basel Society. For many years Mr. Beynon was in 
the habit of attending the great festival of Yellamma, at 
which, among other odious rites practised, was that of visiting 
the shrine in a state of perfect nudity. By Mr. Beynon's 
exertions in memorializing the Government, this obnoxious 
practice, and also that of hook-swinging, was prohibited. 

Mr. Taylor continued in active service until about 1857, 
and he died at Bombay in ]859. Mr. Beynon retired in 
1870, after forty-five years' uninterrupted service, during 
which he had never revisited England. After a visit to 
England he returned to Belgaum in 1871, where he died 
in 1878. On the occasion of his retirement the address 
presented to him by the native community not only sums 
up his long life of quiet unobtrusive labour, but it also 
sketches the first half century of the Society's Christian 
work in Belgaum : — 

' You have been to us a friend in need and a faithful 
counsellor in our difficulties. Your connection with the 
Belgaum Mission English school will be held in per- 
petual remembrance. This school has the great credit of 
being the first English school in Belgaum ; there was no 
Government school here until twenty years later. It has 


supplied the various branches of the public service with 
competent young men ; and to this day they are holding 
responsible posts in the revenue, judicial, engineer, postal, 
educational, and other departments. You and your late 
lamented colleague, the Rev. J. Taylor, have been the first 
to open vernacular schools for boys and girls in this place. 
Hundreds of children, who would have been otherwise the 
source of misery to their parents and of mischief to the 
public, have been thus brought under restraint and regu- 
larity, and fitted for higher branches of learning. Female 
education in this part of the country owes its origin to you. 

' Those of us who have embraced the faith which you 
came to preach to our countrymen, beg leave to say a few 
words on the work of your mission. God has blessed your 
joint labours in the conversion of many souls. You have 
been permitted to see the fruit of your labours. You 
have not only sown the seed, but in some measure gathered 
the fruit. The tender plant of a native Church (both 
Canarese and Tamil) in Belgaum has taken root in the 
soil. The evidence of its life is seen in the organization 
of three churches and a regularly ordained native ministry 
to maintain the ordinances of religion. 

' In the multiplicity of your duties as a teacher of the 
young and a preacher of the Gospel, you have not been 
wholly unmindful of literary labours. You were the first 
to translate into Canarese the first part of Bunyan's 
Pitgrivis Progress, and some tracts which are still in 

'We cannot close this humble address without paying 
a tribute of respect and gratitude to Mrs. Beynon, who 
has been indeed a helpmeet to you. She has always 
taken an active part in the work of the mission, and we 
gratefully remember her labours in the Sunday-school, 
and in the visitation of our families.' 

In January, 1H67, Mr. James Smith reached Belgaum, 
and in 1871 Mr. J. G. Hawker. From that time till 1895 
these two were in charge of the mission. In 1886 J. W. 
Roberts was appointed for evangelistic work, but his health 


failed after only two or three years' service. The Decen- 
nial Report, 1891, thus summed up the later condition of 
the mission. 

' The care of the churches has, of course, occupied much 
time and attention. Schools have been carefully fostered, 
and in nearly all cases have shown a tendency to grow. 
The High School has been markedly successful. In 1881 
it had 337 pupils; in 1890 it contained 433. In 1881 it 
passed five matriculates; in 1890 it passed thirty-one in 
Matriculation and University Final School examinations, 
which are of about equal difficulty. In i88i' the fees 
amounted to 867 rupees; in 1890 to o^-'^i rupees. In the 
vernacular boys' and girls' schools and in the Sunday- 
schools there had been a noticeable increase. 

' In evangelistic work the decade has been marked by 
a successful effort to carry the Gospel to every Canarese- 
speaking town, village, and hamlet within the bounds of 
the district. In accomplishing this purpose about 5,500 
.square miles were traversed (many of them again and 
again), 1,300 different towns and villages visited, and about 
a million of population touched. Accompanying and 
supplementing the efforts of the preacher have been those 
of the colporteur. Throughout the whole district two, 
and sometimes more, colporteurs have been persistently 
soliciting attention to their books, and have succeeded in 
leaving among non-Christian people 35,081 Scriptures and 
23,735 tracts, receiving from them 1,130 rupees in payment. 

'Knowledge has increased, desires have been excited, 
opinions have been affected ; but only fifteen have been 
baptized from heathenism, and scarcely any of these as 
the result of direct effort. But the Kingdom of God is of 
such a nature that it comes not with observation, and while 
gathering few out of Hinduism into professed connection 
with the Christian Church, we have seen, with much joy, 
many indications of the Spirit's presence and working in 
the hearers of His Word. 

'The English services conducted on Sundays and 
Thursdays for the soldiers have been well attended, and 


have been greatly blessed. The native churches in Belgaum 
and Shapore make very slow progress, partly because the 
"offence of the cross" is still very great among the Hindu 
people of these towns, but partly also, it is to be feared, 
because the Christians themselves have very imperfectly 
learned of Christ, and exhibit a painful amount of weakness. 
Evangelistic meetings are carried on regularly in both 
places, and a considerable number of persons have come 
to hear the Gospel, some becoming frequent and interested 

In 1892 the Rev. Thomas Haines was transferred from 
Bellary to Belgaum, to act as the colleague of Mr. Hawker 
and Mr. Smith. 

HI. Telugu Missions. The Telugu language, the 
' Italian of the East,' is spoken by about 20,000,000 Hindus 
who live along the lower basins of the Kistna and the 
Godaveri rivers. The mission-work among these people 
has been carried on at four centres : Vizagapatam, Bellary, 
Cuddapah. and Nundial. 

J . Vizagapatam and Vizianagram. The early history 
of this station is given in Chapter III. The fact that 
twenty-seven years passed from the arrival of Cran before 
a single native convert was won illustrates the hardness 
of the work and the difficulty of many of these fields. 
Mr. Pritchett died in 1824, Mr. Gordon in 1828, and 
Mr. Dawson in 1832. For three years the station was 
without a missionary, but in 1835 the Rev. J. W. Gordon, 
son of the former missionary, took up the work. Con- 
siderable educational work had been done, and Mr. Gordon 
had a good knowledge of the vernacular. Under his care 
the firstfruits of the mission — two or three native women 
— were gathered into the church. In the same year the 
Rev. E. Porter joined the mission, and in 1836 a chapel, 
holding 300 people, was built. In 1837 there were four 
native communicants, and in 1841 fourteen. In 1840 the 

II. K 


Rev. John Hay joined the mission, and gave himself 
largely to educational work, Mr. Porter having great 
gifts as an evangelist. In 1844 the latter was sent to 
Cuddapah. In 1843 Mr, Gordon returned to India, after 
an absence, due to illness, of nearly three years. 

About the year 1844 the Directors determined to abolish 
the small vernacular schools, taught by untrained teachers, 
who were found to exert over their pupils an influence 
sadly at variance with the main object of their appoint- 
ment ; and in place of them, to devote all the available 
strength and funds at the disposal of the mission to one 
Anglo-vernacular school of a higher order. But in those 
days, except in the presidential towns, very little induce- 
ment was held out to the natives to accept such instruction 
as was then offered to them. Education was then, as 
indeed it mainly is now, a mere marketable commodity, 
and the supply was equal to the demand. This was the 
first Anglo-vernacular school in the Madras Presidency. 

For many years a printing press was maintained in 
Vizagapatam, and the Telugu Scriptures, books, and tracts 
sent out from it circulated wherever Telugu is spoken — 
from Madras to Ganjam. 

In 1847 Pulipaka Jagannadham, who in the Anglo-ver- 
nacular school for the first time heard idolatry denounced 
as sinful, avowed his belief in Jesus Christ as the only 
Saviour. His conversion roused such a storm of opposition, 
that the magistrate in charge of the station felt it necessary 
to call for a large military escort to protect him on his way 
to the mission house. Mr. Jagannadham was ordained in 
1 857, and appointed to succeed the Rev. L. Valett in charge 
of the mission at Chicacole. 

In 1853, a day school for caste girls was begun by 
Mrs. Hay, in which there were at one time as many as 
100 children under instruction. The average attendance 
was about sixty. They were taught the elements of general 
knowledge, and the truths of the Gospel ; and were also 
instructed in those branches of female industry that might 
be useful to them in future life. 


In 1855 the Rev. John S. Wardlaw, M.A., was trans- 
ferred from Bellary to this mission, for the purpose of more 
efficient co-operation with Mr. Hay in the preparation of 
a new and more accurate translation of the sacred Scriptures 
into Telugu, but was obhged by failure of health to return 
to England in 1858. Mr. Hay was also sent home in i860 ; 
and at that time the Anglo-vernacular school was broken 
up, and Mr. Gordon was left in sole charge of the station. 

Caste feeling is very strong and firmly maintained in 
Vizagapatam. The natives as they become acquainted 
with Christianity recognize that it is impossible to retain 
caste and yet to be a Christian. This was long a great 
obstacle in the way of those who wished to enter the 
mission school, in which all caste distinctions were ignored ; 
but in later years the Brahman and the Pariah have been 
seen in close fellowship, aiding each other in the preparation 
of their tasks. Neither here nor elsewhere would it be fair 
to claim for direct Christian teaching all that has been 
done to undermine and abolish Hinduism. The public 
administration of justice in the courts ; the abolition of 
rites once deemed holy, but which the most bigoted 
Brahman would now blush to acknowledge as having ever 
belonged to the religion of his fathers ; the waning power 
of the Brahman as the Sudra rises to positions of influence ; 
the absence of all respect, often amounting to positive 
disrespect, shown to caste in Government offices and 
schools ; the mental activity called forth in the pursuit of 
secular wealth and position ; the withdrawal of Govern- 
ment patronage from the temples and temple-worship ; — 
all these have done their part in undermining the faith 
of the people, and preparing them for a great religious 

About the middle of 1863 Mr. and Mrs. Hay returned 
to the station, and in February, 1867, the Rev. Henry 
De Vere Gookey came out, appointed to reopen the 
Anglo-vernacular school, which he did in the beginning 
of 1868. Notwithstanding the existence of a native High 
School, where the reading of the Bible was forbidden, and 

K a 


which in a very marked degree was under the patronage 
of Government officials, as soon as the old mission school 
was reopened there was a rush into it, plainly indicative 
of the important fact that the reading of the Christian 
Scriptures is not an insuperable barrier in the way of those 
Hindus who seek sound education for their sons. 

Mr. Jagannadham was at this time recalled from 
Chicacole to take charge of the native church and render 
assistance in the restored educational institution. 

Severe family affliction necessitated the return of 
Mr. Hay to England, and the mission was then, 1869, left in 
the hands of Messrs. Gordon, Gookey, and Jagannadham 
at Vizagapatam, and Mr. Thompson at Chicacole. With 
such a body of workmen, the prospects of the mission 
might be regarded as favourable ; but they were soon 
beclouded. In 1871 Mr. Dawson was absent, on the 
Nilgiris, dangerously ill; Mrs. Gookey died in 1872, and 
her husband was ordered home by his medical adviser. 
A brief sojourn on the hills seemed to restore his health, 
and before the end of the year he was able to resume his 
place in the school and engage in other evangelistic work 
at the station along with Mr. Gordon : while Mr. Hay. 
who had returned to the station in April, 1872. devoted 
a large portion of his time to the work of translation and 
revision. But in 1875 entire prostration of health rendered 
it necessary for both Mr. Gookey and Mr. Dawson to 
leave the country. Mr. Dawson died on his way home ; and 
Mr. Gookey was forbidden by the doctors to return to India. 

The educational institution again came under the manage- 
ment of Mr. Hay in 1875. That year Mrs. Gordon died, 
and Mr. Gordon, after some forty years of faithful labour, 
felt constrained to retire. In 1876 Mr. E. Midwinter and 
Mr. H. J. Goffin were appointed to the district. The 
former was barely allowed to survey the field and manifest 
his earnest desire to be engaged in it, when he was called 
away ; and Mr. Goffin settled at Vizianagram. In 1878 
Mr. Morris Thomas reached Vizagapatam. 

Although distinct stations, Vizianagram and Chicacole 


must historically be regarded in connection with the Viza- 
gapatam Mission. Chicacole was first occupied as an 
out-station of the mission in 1838 by Mr. WilHam Dawson, 
who received ordination in 1844, and continued to labour 
there until 1852, when he was removed to Vizianagram, 
where it was thought desirable to open another branch 
of the Telugu Mission. Mr. C. E. Thompson, assistant 
missionary, was then sent to Chicacole ; but the mission 
gradually declined by the removal of the Christians, about 
forty in number, to Vizianagram and Vizagapatam. In 
1857 the mission was somewhat revived under the care 
of the Rev. L. Valett, but in consequence of the entire 
failure of Mrs. Valett's health, Mr. Valett was compelled 
to return to Europe, and he was succeeded at Chicacole 
by the Rev. P. Jagannadham. 

In 1881 there were four missionaries in the three stations 
which formed the Northern Telugu Mission of the Society. 
Chicacole was occupied by the Rev. M. Thomas, the Rev. 
H. J. Gofhn was labouring in Vizianagram, and Vizaga- 
patam was supplied with two European missionaries, the 
Rev. John Hay, M.A., and the Rev. James Sibree, jun., 
and had in addition an ordained native minister. In reality, 
Vizagapatam had only one European missionary, for the 
Rev. J. Sibree had returned to England and then resumed 
his work in Madagascar. 

Chicacole lost its missionary in i882,when Mr. Thomas was 
transferred to Vizagapatam. It was worked for some time 
as an out-station of the Vizianagram Mission, but was in 
1883 handed over to the Baptist Missionary Society. Vizia- 
nagram remained a centre of the Society's work until 1889, 
and was then with great reluctance given up, and the two 
missionaries who were occupying it were transferred to the 
district of Cuddapah. Vizagapatam alone remained, and it 
gave evidence of such vigorous rejuvenescence and pro- 
gress that withdrawal ceased to be a possible contingency. 

The Rev. John Hay retired, after a long and influ- 
ential career of service, in June, 1882, and the Rev. Morris 
Thomas took charae of the mission in 1882. He was 


joined at the end of that year by the Rev. G. H. Mac- 
farlane. After a few months, however, Mr. Macfarlane was 
transferred to Vizianagram to take the place of the Rev. 
H. J. Goffin, who was compelled to return to England on 
furlough. In 1883 the Rev. E. Le Mare joined the mission, 
and worked in connection with it until the end of 1886, 
when he resigned and returned to England. Then 
Mr. Thomas was left alone until the end of 1888, when 
the Rev. John Knox was sent out. Mr. Thomas died, after 
twenty years' service, in 1898, 

Fortunately, Vizagapatam has been exceptionally well 
off in the quality of its native workers, so that it has been 
easier than in some other stations to keep up the continuity 
of work. When Dr. Hay retired from the mission the chief 
feature in the work was the mission High School, which 
had under his very able management become an important 
educational centre, and had also been the means of modi- 
fying to a considerable extent the hostility to Christianity 
which had been formerly strongly marked in the town. Since 
the resignation of Mr. Le Mare the school has been under the 
care of the able Christian head master, Mr. D. Lazarus, B.A. 
The local European missionary exercises only a general 
control over the finances and management. In 1881 the 
school had 251 scholars on its roll, who paid fees to the 
amount of 2,611 rupees; in 1890 the number of scholars 
was 387, and the fees received amounted to 6,364 rupees. 

The religious teaching in the school has been as faithfully 
attended to as the secular subjects. And though all but a 
very small percentage of the boys were heathen or Muham- 
madan, the Sunday-school, which was entirely voluntary, 
was attended during 1890, on an average, by 260 of the 
day scholars, no inducement being held out to encourage 
attendance beyond the distribution monthly of copies of 
a religious paper, The Messenger of TrutJi. 

The native Christian church and community have also 
slowly but steadily grown in numbers. 

Reference is made in Chapter IX to the lifelong literary 
and Bible translation work carried on by John Hay. 


When, in 1882, he retired from the service of the Society, 
he returned to India to spend the remaining years of 
his hfe in labour upon his beloved Telugu Bible. On 
January 7, 1890, he completed fifty years of missionary ser- 
vice, and upon this memorable occasion thirty-three of the 
Society's South Indian missionaries joined in conveying 
to him their congratulations and their deep affection. As 
in the case of Benjamin Rice, his senior by a few years, he 
did not long survive his jubilee. At Madras, on October 28, 
1891, he passed away, full of years and strong in the affec- 
tion, not only of his relatives and friends and colleagues, 
but also in the grateful affection of many of the sons and 
daughters of India, to whom during his long life he had been 
the means in God's hand of bringing the light and liberty 
and joy of the Gospel. W. Robinson, of Salem, who knew 
him well during his later years, has placed on record 
a loving tribute to the beauty of his life and the greatness 
of the work he accomplished ^ 

' Dr. John Hay was the profoundest Telugu scholar in 
India, and his acquaintance with other vernaculars was 
extensive. Sanskrit he studied, and with such marked 
proficiency that he could meet Hindu pundits on their own 
ground. A greater end was served by it, because it gave 
him a weapon of precision in conveying to Hindu minds an 
exact definition of theological terms. In one of his rare 
intervals of leisure he wrote an exquisite little tract, Jesus 
is Mine. This tract had a circulation of one million copies ; 
it had all the tenderness and insight of Rutherford in his 
best letters ; it brought light, comfort, and certitude to 
many a penitent but doubtful soul. Like all Dr. Hay's 
writings, this book was issued anonymously, and, as is 
the fashion in the common everyday blessings of our 
life, people accepted the gift and never thought about the 
giver. But he wanted no blare of trumpet ; his purpose 
was to do " the quiet lightning deed, and heed not the 
applauding thunder which follows at its heels." I have 
known him nurse a sick man and be as full of gentle 

^ Chronicle, 1892, p. 10. 


ministries as a woman. His generosity knew no limit 
when there was real distress to relieve, and he gave all he 
had to help the poor. 

' His Friday evening sermons at the English chapel, 
Vizagapatam, were productions which would have made 
the reputation of a minister at home. Full of ripe scholar- 
ship and rich experience, simply and clearly told, they 
fertilized the souls of the people, and dropped like balm 
upon many a sad heart. His lessons to crowds of Hindu 
lads in the Sunday-school worked for righteousness. 

' Looking back at the year I spent with him, the most 
abiding impression 1 have of him was his infinite capacity 
for work. I have known him begin his translation work at 
3 a.m and keep at it till 3 p.m.. with intervals for food ; 
then teach two hours in the High School ; preach if it was 
service night, and if it was not visit the poor and sick ; get 
home at 7 30, have his evening meal, and work until bed- 
time. This was not a mere spurt of work, it was the habit 
of his life, kept up almost till the last. No Jesuit ascetic 
was more abstemious than Mr. Hay. From first to last 
he was a total abstainer from alcoholic stimulants, and 
his food was of the plainest kind. It was a wonder how 
he managed to do the work he did on so little food. 
Throughout his life he kept the thin, spare, erect frame 
he had when he came to the country. Looking at his 
well-poised head, his clear-cut face, and his lofty, dome-like 
forehead, you felt the presence of an old warrior-saint, such 
an one as Paul the aged, whom no opposition could daunt 
and whose indomitableness no obstacle could conquer. 

' In the Telugu country his name is graven deep on the 
hearts of the people. They know how prompt he was to 
help, how tender and yet faithful to rebuke, how gently he 
would lead back the wanderer. Most of all, how he would 
cherish the lambs of Christ's flock. Among the apostles 
of India there has arisen none greater than John Hay.' 

2. CUDDAPAH. This is another large district of the 
Madras Presidency, lying to the north-west of Madras. 


It contains 8,745 square miles, and has a population of 
], 1 25,000. The taluk and the town also bear the same 
name, the town containing about 20,000 people. 

In 1832 the Rev. J. Hands, of the Bellary Mission, 
began work in Cuddapah by preaching and establishing 
vernacular schools. The Rev. W, Howell, who was 
appointed to labour in Cuddapah, was ordained at Madras 
in 1H24. With the aid of G. J. Waters, Esq., Zillah Judge, 
and a few other friends, a mission house and a small chapel 
were finished in 1825, and in the same year a Christian 
fellowship was formed. A small number of people from 
the poorer classes became Christians ; employment was 
found for them, houses for their accommodation were built 
near the chapel, and a school was established for their 

For several years preaching was regularly carried on in 
and around Cuddapah ; Scripture readers and colporteurs 
were employed, and schools opened in several villages. 
Occasionally baptisms took place, as that of Veerappa, 
a Brahman convert, in 1831 ; Venkappa, a Sudra farmer, 
and nine other adults of the Sudra class through the influ- 
ence of Venkappa ; and others of less prominence. 

Mr. Hands frequently spent some weeks of the cold 
season in visiting the larger towns of the Cuddapah Zillah. 
In 1838 Mr. Dawson joined the mission, but was obliged 
to leave very soon on account of ill health. About this 
time the first out-station was commenced. The prisoners 
in the gaol were often visited by the missionary, and 
a man of the Mala caste ^ from Rudrawaram embraced the 
truth. On being released from prison he returned to his 
native village, and told his friends and neighbours what he 
had heard in Cuddapah. This led, in the course of a few 
years, to several families in that village and others in the 
neighbourhood renouncing idolatry and becoming Chris- 
tians. In this way the work commenced amongst the 

' In the Cuddapah district the Malas are equivalent to the Pariahs of the 
Tamil districts. 


Malas in this and the adjoining district which has so 
largely extended in later years. 

In the year 1842 Mr. Howell left the mission and 
joined the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
After his departure the work was left in the charge of 
a native catechist, but was superintended by missionaries 
at Bellary and Madras. Mr. Johnston and Mr. Gordon 
each took the oversight of the mission for a brief period. 
The Rev. E. Porter was appointed resident missionary 
at Cuddapah in 1844, but his first stay was not long, and 
the care of the mission again devolved on the Rev. J. 
Shrieves, of Bellary, who remained till January, 1849, 
when he was relieved by the return of Mr. Porter. 

In the year 1851 many Malas living in villages to the 
north and north-west of Cuddapah expressed their readiness 
to renounce idol-worship, and to place themselves and their 
children under Christian instruction. The first village in 
which this movement took place was Paidala, forty miles 
north-west of Cuddapah, where twenty families relinquished 
idolatry. After eighteen months of instruction forty of 
these inquirers were, at their earnest solicitation, baptized. 
In 1852 the spirit of inquiry spread to the Malas of 
other villages, and at the end of the year fifty persons were 
baptized in Abdulapuram. In 1853 a few Malas residing 
in the villages of Polar and Jutur, near Nundial, in the 
Kurnool Zillah, came to Cuddapah, and whilst there were 
instructed in Christianity. Two of their headmen were 
baptized ; and after they returned to their villages, upwards 
of a hundred Malas from those and the neighbouring 
villages placed themselves under Christian instruction. 

From the beginning of 1858 to i860 the chief points of 
interest in the mission were — the application made from 
different Mala villages to be enrolled as Christians, and 
their desire for Christian teachers to be sent to them. 
A i'ew had apostatized at Dhur ; and great opposition 
had been shown to Christians by Sudras and Brahmans. 
The report for 1858 says: 'Through their influence two 
of our Christian schoolmasters were shamefully beaten, and 


the schools in consequence suffered severely for a time. 
Five of the principal offenders were apprehended, and after 
being tried and convicted were punished by the magistrate 
of the district. Four were imprisoned and one heavil}' 
fined. This had a most salutary effect on the enemies of 
Christianity in the neighbourhood of our out-station, so 
that the children have again returned to our schools, and 
the congregations are more numerous than before.' 

From i860 to 1862, during which time Mr. Porter was 
in England, Mr. Johnston removed to Cuddapah, from 
which station he superintended both the Cuddapah and 
Nundial missions. When Mr. Porter again returned to his 
work, he had as his colleague the Rev. A. Thomson, who 
died after being in the country eight months. 

During the year 1864 seventy-three persons, of whom 
forty-one were adults, were baptized. The manner in which 
the Gospel sometimes spreads is shown in the following 
instance, adduced by Mr. Porter in his report : ' The people 
of Velavely, a village about two miles from Dhur, have 
been under Christian instruction for five years past, so that 
it cannot be said that they have embraced the Christian 
religion in haste. The first seed of divine truth sown in 
this village was a tract, which was left by our former 
catechist in the hands of a Sudra weaver, and another tract 
left in the hands of a smith. These both read the tracts 
carefully, and by these means were convinced of the folly 
of heathenism. They also read them to the people of the 
village. The new inquirers also heard the substance of tracts, and were convinced of the folly of their super- 
stitions. They then went to Dhur and asked for a teacher, 
and from him obtained further instruction. After this, one of 
the elders came forward and said, " Come, let us pull down 
our dumb idol, which we have served in vain for so many 
years, and embrace the new religion, which shows our sins 
and the goodness of God in sending a Saviour, who came 
and gave up His life for sinners." On hearing this, the 
people all agreed to pull down their stony god, which they 
had long served and it now forms part of the wall of the 


new school-room. On Monday, November 21, they came 
to Dhur chapel, adults and c\\[\dvcx\,foj-tj' in number, to be 
received into the church by baptism.' 

On December 19, 1864, Mr. Joseph Mason was ordained 
as the nrst native pastor of the church at Cuddapah. 
In the latter part of 1864 the Rev. \V. G. Mawbey and 
the Rev. D. Meadowcroft arrived in India, both for the 
Cuddapah Mission. Mr. Meadowcroft was detained in 
Madras for English work ; and Mr. Mawbey took up his 
work in Cuddapah in the beginning of 1H65, from which 
time he shared the various duties of the mission with 
Mr. Porter. In 1867 Mr. Mawbey removed to Madras to 
take charge of the congregation at Davidson Street, and 
Mr. Porter worked alone. This year a great change was 
made in the out-stations. Whilst at the close of 1866 
twenty-three out-stations were mentioned, at the end of this 
year only tivelve are reported, although an increase appears 
in the number of native adherents. Up to this time any 
village where Christians resided was denominated an out- 
station, but from 1867 only those where a teacher or 
schoolmaster is located have been so described. 

In the beginning of 1868 Mr. Moses Williams was 
ordained in Cuddapah, and appointed to take charge of 
the church in Venturla. Mr. Porter retired from Cuddapah 
and from mission-work, having been thirty-three years in 
the field, twenty-three of which were spent in Cuddapah. 
Mr. Mawbey returned from Madras to superintend the 
district, and set himself heartily to work amongst the 
village congregations, leaving the church in the town in 
the charge of the native pastor. The out-stations were 
decreased to ten, and each station was required to subscribe 
for the support of its teacher. It was felt important to have 
a good number of young men under training as village 
schoolmasters, who might, in addition to their teaching, be 
able to conduct Christian worship amongst the adult mem- 
bers of the congregations. Some of the most promising 
lads were, from time to time, chosen out of the village 
schools and brought into Cuddapah, where they received 


a more or less systematic course of instruction in tlie 
vernacular to fit them for this work. 

Public preaching by the missionary and native evan- 
gelists continued to be carried on with great vigour far and 
near ; the congregations were large and \'ery attentive in 
the villages ; there were many signs of an awakening 
interest in Christianit)' amongst the Mala population ; and 
we find at the close of T1S70 that there were again twenty- 
tJirec out-stations, and a very considerable increase in the 
number of adherents. The efforts put forth by the native 
Christians themselves, in spreading Christian truth amongst 
their friends and neighbours, became more earnest and 
gratifying. The result was that one village after another 
came forward desiring to give up their idol-worship and 
receive Christian teaching ; in 1871 twelve new out-stations 
were added to the list, and at the close of the yQ?iX fifteen 
village teachers besides evangelists were emplo\'ed 

In i(S72 there were still larger accessions; but 'as the 
people came over in promiscuous groups from the lower 
classes, it was thought advisable not to admit them to the 
ordinance of baptism without previous systematic instruc- 
tion, and a fair trial of their steadfastness. This delay in 
baptizing adherents will account for the small number of 
baptized persons compared with the number of catechu- 
mens. A still greater inequality existed between the number 
baptized and those received as communicants, which arose 
from the reluctance of the missionary to receive into church 
fellowship any, unless there was good reason to believe that 
they were the subjects of Div^ine grace ' 

In 1873 twelve hundred additions to the number of 
adherents were reported, and Mr. Mawbey was put to 
great straits to provide teachers to instruct them. Much 
attention was given this and the following year to the 
improvement of the village schools. This was not without 
good effect, as may be learned from the fact that grants 
from Government, under the system of payment for results, 
were given to fifteen schools in 1874. 

The year 1875 was one of great trial through the 


prevalence of cholera in the district. Many Christians, as 
well as heathen, died ; but Mr. Mawbey reported : ' I have 
known of two cases only in which, in the midst of this 
general time of trouble, there have been any drawings back 
towards heathen worship and ceremonies.' In November 
of this year, the Rev. J. R. Bacon arrived from England to 
join the mission. The statistics for the year show that at 
its close there were eighty out-stations ; thirty-one native 
teachers ; 147 Church members ; 1,3^6 baptized persons ; 
3,925 adherents ; and twenty-seven boys' schools, with 419 
scholars. With the exception of Travancore no field in 
India could show such striking results. 

In the month of August, 1876, Mr. Mawbey left Cud- 
dapah for a period of furlough to England. It was expected 
that he would return early in 1879, and it was thought that 
the increased knowledge of medicine and surgery which he 
had acquired during his visit home would have been of 
the greatest service to him in his work in this district ; 
but he was appointed by the Directors as medical mis- 
sionary to Hankow, China. 

After Mr. Mawbey's departure the whole superintendence 
of the mission came upon Mr. Bacon, and that too upon 
the eve of the worst famine from which India has ever 
suffered. The famine scattered village congregations, and 
prevented the possibility of carrying on the usual work. In 
his report for 1877 Mr. Bacon writes : ' The effect of the 
extreme distress upon the Christians of my mission will be 
understood by the fact, that out of 5,168 belonging to this 
mission at the close of 1876, no less than 750 deaths have 
taken place, and 418 are missing, having left their villages 
for other places where they hoped to obtain food or work ; 
they have in all probability perished on the roads, as 
hundreds besides have done. I have thus lost 1,168 by 
death and other causes. The natural consequence of the 
famine has been to stop much of the ordinary work.' 
In 1878 prospects began to brighten ; many of the 
village schools that had been discontinued were recom- 
menced ; more teachers were sent out from the training 


class in Cuddapah to work in the district ; and most 
hopeful signs appeared of an opening amongst the caste 
people, many of whom applied for schools to be established 
amongst them, and showed that they were interested in the 
teaching of Christianity. 

The orphan school for boys and girls has for many 
years formed an important part of the work in Cuddapah ; 
and the wives of successive missionaries have worked hard, 
and taken much pains to make it efficient in itself, and 
useful to the whole mission. At the opening of the year 
1878 the boys' school-house was quite destroyed by fire. 
The portion of the building occupied by the girls was 
pulled down, as it was thought well to rebuild the whole. 
In the report for 1878 Mrs. Bacon writes : 'Instead of the 
old building there now stands a most spacious and sub- 
stantial orphanage. It was planned, built, and inhabited 
in nine months and four days from the burning of the old.' 

Mr. Bacon was reinforced by the appointment, in 1884, 
of Mr. W. H. Campbell, M.A., B.D., and, in 1889, of 
Mr. G. H. Macfarlane. The Decennial Report for 1890 
gave a very hopeful account of progress and prospects, 
although here, as in other parts, the harvest is plenteous 
but the labourers are too few. 

• The district still includes an area of 6,500 square miles, 
and such are the conditions of the work that no appreciable 
relief seems to have been afforded to the workers by the 
changes made. Of the five taluks which form the mission 
district of Cuddapah, only two — those of Jammulamadugu 
and Prodatur — are systematically worked. The others 
are visited for evangelistic purposes every year, and in one 
of them — the Sidhout taluk — a native evangelist has been 
labouring for some years past. But the people have not 
yet been encouraged to put themselves under regular 
instruction, because there are not teachers to supply their 
needs. The spirit of hearing and the desire to be brought 
under Christian instruction has continued as marked as 
ever throughout the whole of the wide field of this mission^ 
and the influence of Christianity among the Siidras seems 


now to be quite as strong and general as it has been 
among the Malas. "Our work amongst the Sudras pro- 
mises to exceed that amongst the Malas. It is now 
passing from the stage of individual movement to that 
in which whole communities come under the influence of 
the Gospel. In 1890. for the first time in the history of 
our mission, we received a body of Sudras as adherents. 
In June, ten families of farmers and weavers came to us 
asking for a teacher : they brought with them, and this 
pleased us very much, the Malas of their village, and with 
them entered into an agreement to give up idolatry, 
receive instruction, and submit to discipline. Within the 
year seven of their number have received baptism. We 
have sent a teacher to their village, and we have good 
hope that the movement will spread." 

* Mr. Campbell and Mr. Macfarlane have devoted them- 
selves unweariedly to the work of itineration, directing and 
encouraging the teachers and evangelists, instructing the 
village congregations, and preaching to the heathen. There 
were in 1890 forty-three village teachers at work, but six 
congregations were still without regular instruction. At 
least twenty village communities, which had received partial 
instruction, /lave gone back to heathendom ivithin recent 
years, beea?ise there zvere no teachers for them. The 
importance of the Training Institution, which has been 
established for the benefit of the Telugu Missions as 
a whole, and which has hitherto been situated at Cud- 
dapah, is thus becoming vital to the continued success of 
the missions. During 1890 forty students were under the 
care of the Rev. J. R. Bacon, of whom eight completed 
their three years' term of training during the year, and 
found work to do at once. Fever prevailed among the 
students very seriously during the first three months, and 
was followed by an epidemic of influenza, which stopped 
all work for a time. In consequence of this, the Directors 
decided to remove the institution to Gooty, which is 
a much healthier station than Cuddapah, and more central 
for all the Telu":u Missions. Accommodation is to be made 


for a greatly increased number of students. By this means 
it is hoped that the pressing needs of this deeply interesting 
district may be more adequately supplied. 

'From 1880 to 1890 a great growth took place in the 
number of native agents, and also in the Christian con- 
gregations and baptized Christian community. In 1890 
there were sixty native agents at work, and 1,34*^ church 
members, as against 138 in 1881. The baptized Christian 
community increased by over i,coo, being in 1890 2,825, 
and the unbaptized adherents were limited only by the 
caution of the missionaries, who would not encourage 
people to come over to Christianity until they had some 
means of instructing them. The only part of the work 
in which there has been retrogression has been education. 
The quality of the instruction in the village schools has 
not improved, and the numbers under instruction have not 
increased. This is a very serious shortcoming, in view 
of the fact that the mission schools are the only means 
by which the villagers can obtain instruction, and until 
they learn to read the Scriptures their Christianity cannot 
fail to be exceedingly weak and unsatisfactory. The chief, 
if not the only, cause of this shortcoming is that " the ex- 
treme paucity of agents available for evangelistic work has 
compelled us to denude our schools of every man of even 
moderate ability in order to maintain our preaching staff." 

' We rejoice to be able to record a steadily increasing 
work amongst the Sudras. During the past five years 
149 have been received to baptism. This we regard as 
the most important feature of our work in the period now 

' The chief drawback to the otherwise cheering state 
of this mission is that converts do not make the advance 
in Bible knowledge and spiritual life that we desire to see 
in them. There are several reasons for this fact. One 
is doubtless the extreme poverty of so many of them. 
Another is that during all the history of the Mission, until 
last year, the European staff has been so small that the 
personal intercourse and supervision required to develop 

II. L 


Christian character in our converts have not been possible. 
Further, the men whom alone we were able to place in 
charge of them to teach them were but imperfectly in- 
structed themselves, and these men were frequently drawn 
away to strengthen the evangelistic staff. These Chri.stian 
congregations need the time of two European missionaries 
to be devoted to them entirely. With a proper number 
of well-trained teachers to aid them in teaching the con- 
verts, two missionaries could have this work well in hand, 
while the other European missionaries were engaged in 
evangelizing in the less forward parts of the field.' 

In 1891 a vigorous effort was made to reinforce the 
Cuddapah Mission. The Rev. J. M. Ure and Mr. T. V. 
Campbell, M.A., M.B., were sent out. To the latter was 
entrusted the work of establishing a Medical Mission at 
Jammulamaduqu. In the same year a new station was 
opened at Kadiri, and placed under the care of the Rev. 
H, J. Goffin. In 1893 two lady missionaries. Miss Darnton 
and Miss Simmons, were appointed to Cuddapah. 

The Cuddapah Mission is the field in the whole of South 
India most ripe for a great Christian harvest, were but the 
faith and zeal and liberality of the church equal to the 
great opportunity. Thousands are ready and waiting to 
receive the Word of Eife, could only suitable teachers 
be sent. It should be one of the main duties of the Society 
during the second century of its history to see that this 
rich and fruitful harvest is duly gathered in. 

3. NUNDIAL, GOOTY, AND Anantapur. The Nundial 
branch of the Telugu Mission was due to extension of 
work in the Cuddapah district in 1853. 

Nundial is a large town, in the taluk of the same name, 
situated in the Kurnool district, and distant eighty miles 
from the town of Cuddapah. When Mr. Johnston settled 
there in 185,5, there were three villages in the immediate 
neighbourhood, where 246 adherents lived, of whom, how- 
ever, only a few were baptized. Two schools were at once 
established, into which thirty-four scholars v^^ere received, 


and after a short time a boarding school was opened. During 
the first ten years of work, there was steady onward pro- 
gress ; the out-stations increased from three to seven, and, 
but for the lack of suitable native teachers, at least three 
others would have been taken up ; the schools increased 
to eiglit, with an attendance of 156 scholars. The number 
of adherents also increased from 266 to 4,50, and the 
communicants from seven to twenty-two. A native evan- 
gelist with a Scripture reader was placed in Kurnool in 
1864, and it was hoped that Kurnool would be permanently 
occupied as an out-station. 

In 1870 Mr. Johnston went to England on furlough. 
During his absence Mr. Mawbey paid several visits to 
Nundial and the out-stations, and exercised general super- 
vision ; but Mrs. Johnston, who remained in Nundial, 
superintended much of the ordinary Avork, with the help 
of the native pastor from Ventiirla. The Report for 1872 
shows a considerable increase. In it Mr. Johnston writes : 
' At the beginning of the year the total number of persons 
connected with the Mission, baptized and unbaptized, was 
729 ; at the close of the same the roll exhibited an aggre- 
gate of 1,590 ; of these 712 were baptized persons, and 87S 
adherents, who had placed themselves under Christian 
instruction, preparatory to baptism.' It was found im- 
possible to provide these new adherents with regular and 
constant instruction. As in Cuddapah, so here there was 
great need of a staff of trained Christian young men for 
village teachers. 

The Malas have frequently to encounter opposition 
from caste people when it is known they wish to become 
Christians. Mr. Johnston says : ' This spirit of antagonism 
on the part of the Sudras and others does not, I am 
inclined to think, arise so much from their feeling any 
concern whether the Malas become Christians or not, as 
from their dislike to seeing them raised to a better position 
than they had before, their children educated and capa- 
citated for other employment than what fell to their lot 

L 2 


At the end of 1875 Mr. Johnston reported: 'While 
our statistics thus exhibit a large numerical increase, it 
would not be safe to infer, simply from that fact, that 
genuine spiritual results have been produced to the same 
extent ; or, to speak more plainly, that all our adherents 
are Christians in the true sense of the word. There are 
no doubt some among them who, to the best of our 
belief, have been actuated by no other than right and 
spiritual motives in coming over to Christianity.' 

The Rev. W. W. Stephenson arrived from England and 
joined the mission early in 1877. During that year many 
of the Christians in the district suffered extremely from the 
famine, and from various forms of sickness; and the numbers 
were very considerably reduced. In 1878 Mr. Johnston 
left India for England, after /ortj' years of mission labour, 
nearly tiveiity-fom- of which were spent in this district. 

In 1 88 1 the mission was removed to Gooty, and has 
since been carried on there by Mr. Stephenson, and for 
a short time by Mr. Dignum as his colleague, appointed 
in 1882. In 1895 Mr. Ure was transferred there from 
Cuddapah. The work is on exactly similar lines to those 
followed in the Cuddapah district. In 1890 Mr. Stephenson 
reported : — 

' The reason for there being no practical increase in the 
number of congregations I have stated more than once. 
It is simply owing to my unwillingness to take on addi- 
tional congregations while we have not the means of 
teaching those already in our charge and nominally under 
instruction. Under these circumstances, to profess to take 
on more and instruct them would be a mere pretence. 
Many who have come forward desiring instruction have 
gone back because we could not place a teacher in their 
midst. We can add congregations almost indefinitely so 
soon as we can give teachers.' This is, and has been for 
years, the weak point of the Society's Telugu Mission, and 
arrangements have been made to remedy it as far as 

In 1895, during the absence of Mr. Bacon, the Training 


Institution was under the care of the Rev. F. L. Marler, 
who was appointed to Gooty in 1889. As Christian work 
consolidates more and more in the Cuddapah district this 
Institution grows in importance. It is satisfactory to note 
that the level of native catechist sent out has been steadily 

4. Anantapur. In 1890 a new station was opened at 
Anantapur. This station is intended to connect Gooty 
on the north with Bangalore on the south. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hinkley have made a very hopeful and prosperous 
beginning there. 

IV. The Gujerati Mission. Reference has been 
made on page 39 to the projection and the founding of 
the mission at Surat. This large town is in the Bombay 
Presidency, about 100 miles north of Bombay, on the 
west coast of India. Though among the earliest missions 
planned, it was not actually begun until 1815, when 
Mr. William Fyvie and Mr. James Skinner established the 
mission. Mr. Skinner died in 1821, but Mr. Fyvie's term 
of service was coextensive with the Society^s connection 
with Surat. He was joined in 1822 by his brother, 
Mr. Alexander Fyvie, who died at Surat in 1840. 
Mr. Thomas Salmon, who went out as a printer in 1825, 
and became a full missionary in 1831, laboured there until 
the end of 1832, when he returned to England. Mr. W. 
Flower and Mr. W. Clarkson both joined the mission 
in 1839. 

Preaching and educational work were actively carried 
on, and a great deal of time and attention devoted to the 
mission press. Mainly by the labours of Mr. Fyvie the 
Scriptures were translated into Gujerati. 

The Surat Mission was isolated from all the other 
Indian centres of work occupied by the Society, and partly 
on this account was, in the year 1847, transferred to the 
care of the Irish Presbyterian Church Mission. Mr. W. 


Fyvie. after thirty- two years of diligent and effective 
labour, retired from active work when the transference was 

The only other station occupied in the Gujerati country 
was Baroda, about lOO miles north of Surat. This station 
was begun in i (S44 by Messrs. Clarkson and Flower. But the 
latter, who retired in 1 846, died in 1847 ; and in 1847 Clark- 
son removed the mission to Dhevan, on the Mahi River, later 
known as Mahi Kantha. Mr. J. V. S. Taylor, son of the 
veteran Belgaum missionary, reached Baroda in 1846, and 
removed with Clarkson to Mahi Kantha. Clarkson retired 
in 1854, the mission was transferred to the Irish Presby- 
terian Missionary Society in 1858, and in 1859 Mr. Taylor 
became a missionary of that Society. In this way the 
Society's connection with Gujerati came to an end. 

V. Tamil and Malayalim Missions in Travan- 
CORE. The remarkable early history of this mission has 
been narrated in Chapter III. The later history is both 
instructive and suggestive, and deserves the careful con- 
sideration of all students of Christian missions. In numbers 
of adherents, native churches, native workers, and assistants 
it has been the most successful field, with the exception 
of Madagascar, hitherto occupied by the Society. At 
the same time it must be borne in mind that Christianity 
has, throughout the century, exercised comparatively feeble 
influence on the one hand in modifying the heathenism 
and caste tyranny of the Government, and on the other in 
winning the adherence and self-denial of members of the 
higher castes. That is, until quite towards the close of 
the century the adherence of large numbers of Shanars 
and Pariahs to Christianity has left practically untouched 
the currents of life in Travancore, which most directly and 
powerfully affect public opinion and Government action. 

In 1825 the missionaries in charge of the work at 
Nagercoil were Charles Mead and Charles Mault. Messrs. 
Ashton and Cumberland were there as assistants, and 


there were twenty-seven native readers. The report for 
that year contains a list of nearly Jiffy out-stations, 
worked by the native readers under the superintendence 
of the missionaries. 

Nagercoil was the centre of a vigorous evangelistic and 
educational work. The native church was large in numbers ; 
there were several important schools for boys ; and, as 
early as 1823, a good girls' school had been started ; and 
this notwithstanding the fact that in no part of India has 
hostility to female education been more marked than in 
Travancore. A printing establishment had been set up, 
liberally aided by the Religious Tract Society of London, 
and from this centre large quantities of Tamil books and 
tracts were annually circulated throughout Travancore. 

For many years Mr. and Mrs. Mault were the life and 
soul of the Nagercoil Mission ; and much of the later 
success was due to the energy and consecrated skill with 
which they laid the foundations of organized work. The 
difficulties in the way of, and opposition to Christianity, 
common to all Indian mission-fields, were in Travancore 
somewhat more serious and bitter. 

'Caste,' writes Mr. Mault in 1H27, 'is viewed through 
very opposite mediums by missionaries as well as others. 
Some suppose that it is compatible with Christianity, and 
that they can exist together ; while others are of opinion 
that the form of religion may and does exist, but that the 
life of religion in the soul cannot, where caste is retained. 
If brotherly love and humility form a part of real religion, 
and if it cannot exist without them, I think it is impossible 
to reconcile caste as compatible with the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ : and it affords me unspeakable pleasure to state 
that those whom I have reason to believe are real converts 
to Christianity in Travancore are of the same opinion, and 
have renounced it. 

' For several years after our arrival in Travancore such 
was the opposition to female education, not only among 
the heathen, but likewise among those who made a pro- 
fession that we could only succeed in obtaining five or six 


girls, and these were from the famiHes of persons who 
were dependent on the mission for a livelihood ; but in 
this department there is a very visible improvement ; we 
have now more than fifty females under instruction on the 
premises, and nearly as many attend the schools that arc 
established in the different Christian villages.' 

In another letter, dated June lo, J(S29, Mr. Mault enables 
us to see how the Gospel spread so rapidly in this out-of- 
the-way corner of India, and how the numerous native 
churches sprang into life : — 

• Agateeseram is situated twelve miles east of Nager- 
coil and two miles west of Cape Comorin, in the 
midst of an extensive forest of palmyra and cocoa-nut 
trees. In the year i8j8 a few families in this village 
renounced the service of the evil spirit, which is the prin- 
cipal object of worship among the lower castes in this 
part of India, and took upon themselves the profession of 
Christianity. While they enjoyed tranquillity and the 
smiles of the world their numbers continued to increase ; 
but this was of short continuance, for a persecution com- 
menced by the instigation of the principal man of the 
village, and the consequence was many relapsed into 
idolatry. Such was the enmity manifested at this time 
to the Gospel, that the shed in which the Christians met 
for divine worship was burnt down, and the very name 
of Christian became a reproach in the place. Under these 
circumstances scarcely anything remained of the form of 
religion but the school, in which Christian instruction was 
imparted, till the commencement of the year 1H23, when 
J. Clarke was appointed to this place to read the Scrip- 
tures, who, being a person of much energy and activity, 
a revival soon began, and a considerable congregation was 
raised. The school-room, where the small congregation 
had been accustomed to meet for public worship, became 
too small, in consequence of which a neat chapel was 
erected, principally at the expense of the people. 

'At this period the Word was not published without 
effect, for one person named Nullatamby was truly awakened. 


and led to flee for refuge to the hope set before him in 
the Gospel. As he has taken an active part in extending 
the religion of Christ, I shall make a short digression to 
give a little further account of him. Having experienced 
the Gospel to be the power of God to salvation, he was 
anxious to bring others to a participation of the same 
inestimable blessings. He commenced by telling all he 
knew of Christ to his neighbours, and then visited the 
villages in the vicinity for the same purpose ; and his 
labours of love were not in vain. By him two converts from 
Mahometanism first heard that He who died on Calvary 
is the Saviour of the world. Through him the Gospel 
was introduced into the village of Sandadypathoor, where 
there is now a flourishing cause. His sister and her 
husband, belonging to the congregation at Calvilly, two 
humble and consistent disciples of Christ, were first led 
to seek for mercy through his influence. 

' The outward condition of the congregation continued 
to prosper, and many from time to time were added to the 
number of the professed followers of Christ. In 1827 so 
great was the increase, that the chapel became too small 
for the regular worshippers, and it was enlarged by the 
industry of the congregation.' 

A letter from the pen of Mrs, Mault illustrates in the 
first place the skill with which the early missionaries en- 
deavoured to make their missions self-supporting, and in 
the second, gives a dark picture of the grievous hardships 
with which those whom they tried to benefit had to contend. 
The lace-making described in this letter has continued to 
the present day, and is noted all over India. The slavery, 
happily, came to an end in 1854. The letter is dated 
June 2, 1830. 

'In the year 1821, to assist in defraying the expenses 
of the school, lace-making was introduced on a small 
scale, and from that time to the present, greater facilities 
for disposing of the lace being afforded, it has been 
gradually enlarging ; the profits of which, together with 
subscriptions from England for the support of twenty-two 


girls, and occasional donations realized in this country, 
enable us at the present time to provide board and 
education for sixty children. 

' To be able to read well is conceived to be of great 
importance ; no girl is therefore allowed to turn her 
attention to other pursuits till she can read the New 
Testament, when she is permitted to enter one of the 
working classes, if her time is not too nearly expired to 
admit of it. These classes consist of those who make 
lace, and those that learn plain needlework ; the number 
employed at the former is twelve, and that of the latter 
is seven, which are kindly superintended by Mrs. Addis. 
As the people of this country have not yet arrived at such 
a state of civilized improvement as to require needlework, 
and as we are too remote from European stations to obtain 
work thence, but little can at present be done in this 
department beyond the wants of the school and our own 
families. In reference to lace-making, it may be remarked 
that to the proceeds of this branch the school is indebted 
for more than half its support ; and, could a more regular 
supply of materials from the liberality of British Christians 
be calculated on, the number of workers would be im- 
mediately increased, and the school augmented in pro- 

' Many of these poor children are orphans without a friend 
to care for them^ who, but for this asylum, would be left 
to perish in ignorance, vice, and wretchedness : a friendless 
child in this unfeeling land is an object pitiable beyond 
expression. Moreover, not a few of these girls are slaves ; 
and it is our wish that they should, if possible, obtain their 
freedom while they are in the school, that, when they leave 
it, they may u^o free. No arguments are necessary to prove 
the importance of this measure, when it is stated that 
slavery as it exists in this kingdom is in some respects 
worse than that of the West Indies, inasmuch as the owner 
feels himself under no obligation to provide for his slaves 
any longer than it is convenient to employ them, hence he 
calls them to work during seed-time and harvest, and 


then dismisses them to gain for themselves and children 
a scanty and uncertain pittance in the best way they can, 
till the returning season. As the owner takes no notice 
whatever of the children of his slaves, till they are old 
enough to work, it is easy to account for some of this 
unfortunate class being in the school ; and some faint idea 
may be formed of the sensations of a poor girl, when her 
master appears to take her away, from the following 
instance. An interesting girl, apparently about eleven 
years of age, was discovered near our premises in a state 
of exhaustion through hunger. She was brought in and 
supplied with food, and as soon as she recovered strength, 
she told us she was a slave, but, owing to her master 
denying her sufficient for sustenance and severely flogging 
her, she had run away ; her emaciated frame and the marks 
on her body abundantly confirmed her statement. It was 
with the greatest reluctance she informed us where her 
owner resided ; even the mention of his name seemed to 
make her tremble. 

'In eight or ten days a stern-looking man made his 
appearance, and demanded his slave. The girl, who had 
heard of his approach, had hid herself; but when she found 
she could conceal herself no longer, she came and begged 
in the most feeling manner, that he might not be allowed 
to take her away. Every effort possible was used to 
induce him to give her up, and a sum more than her 
estimated value was offered him, but in vain ; he was 
unmoved, his iron heart had no relentings. " I want not 
your money, but my slave,' said he, as he walked away 
with her. No sooner was the poor girl seen following her 
master to his home, than the school-girls rushed out, and 
with tears entreated for her release, but all was unavailable. 
This, my dear friends, this is the slavery from which we 
wish to see all delivered, that are trained up in our school. 

' The plan adopted to secure the freedom of the slave 
scholars is to teach them in preference to others to make 
lace, and as soon as their earnings amount to more than 
their support, to allow them a small portion of their work, 


to reserve for the purchase of their liberty. Eight girls 
have gained their freedom by industry, since they have 
been here, and others are labouring in prospect of soon 
doing so. 

' The instruction that has been received here has been 
the means of raising two female schools in the villages 
near, besides the attendance of many girls in our other 
schools ; and we hope that in time many of our scholars 
will find openings in their native places to impart instruction 
to their own sex. Experience and observation teach us 
not to overrate the advantages of instruction. Education 
may be given, and religious principles inculcated, but these 
alone will not change the heart, for that is the work of the 
Spirit of God ; nevertheless we are encouraged to use the 
means, and to exercise faith in the divine promises.' 

From 1827 to 1830 Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Addis were at 
Nagercoil with Mr. Mault. They removed in 1830 to 
begin the Coimbatore Mission. In 1827 the mission was 
divided into eastern and western departments, and in 1828 
Mr. Mead began a new station at Neyoor, Mr. Mault 
taking sole charge of the eastern section. 

Mr. Mault sent home early in 1830 a report of the 
preceding half-year's work, in which he sets forth very 
clearly the difficulties due to the character and surroundings 
of the people. But he also gives strong testimony to the 
character and usefulness of the readers or evangelists : — 

'Among a people of such habits and dispositions as the 
lower classes in this country, it is no difficult thing to 
perceive that the readers stationed in their villages need 
to be men of good common sense, prudence, and piety. 
Judging from the manner they have exercised their talents 
among the people, the success that has attended their 
labours, we have no hesitation in saying that some possess 
these qualifications in no ordinary degree ; and others, 
though inferior in many respects, we believe to be con- 
scientious men. In our absence they conduct the public 
worship of God nearly on the same plan as in our 
Congregational churches in England, frequently in a way 


that secures the attention of the audience and promotes 
their edification. Their residence in the midst of the 
congregations serves to render them well acquainted with 
the character of every person in their flock ; and if they 
observe the absence of any at public worship, during the 
interval of service or on the following day they visit them 
and inquire the reason, and give such admonition as 
circumstances suggest. As often as practicable they visit 
every family under their charge, to impart catechetical 
instruction, and read the Scriptures and other books ; and 
to exhort those that can read to a diligent perusal of the 
word of God. In the times of affliction they afford such 
instruction to those who are deprived of the benefit of 
the public worship as their state may require. The readers 
look upon these seasons as peculiarly fitted to arouse the 
careless, and bring the thoughtless to reflection. Such is 
their allowed superiority in knowledge to most around 
them, that their advice is frequently sought, and is freely 
given ; but in the disputes of their neighbours they take no 

'The care of their respective congregations is but a part 
of their work, for they continue to go into the villages 
and highways around them to publish salvation to all that 
will listen to it. The seed thus sown has in many instances 
brought forth fruit, in others appearances are favourable, 
which hold out encouragement to expect that a harvest 
will be gathered in due time, where we have hitherto met 
with little or no success. Some, whose attention has first 
been directed to the truths of Christianity by the readers, 
have been led to us for further information ; and have 
lately shown more solicitude to obtain a knowledge of 
Christianity, and books on that subject, than we have ever 
before witnessed.' 

Connected with these readers a curious system of special 
subscriptions had been initiated in England. An individual 
or a group of individuals in Great Britain subscribed 
annually the cost of one of these readers, and he was 
considered in a special sense the reader or agent of the 


subscribers who supported him. Special reports, entailing 
great labour upon both reader and missionary^ were sent 
home, and if these were not forthcoming subscriptions 
often lapsed. Repeated representations of the incon- 
venience of this system were sent home from time to time, 
finally, especially when, about \ H50, the whole system was 
energetically reformed, this practice ceased. 

In 1827 Mr. W. Miller joined the mission, but he died 
after eight years' labour. In 1834 Mr. C. Miller was added 
to the staff, but he died in 184 1. In 1838 J. T. Pattison, 
James Russell, John Abbs, and a medical missionary, 
Archibald Ramsay, were sent out. The last named retired 
in 1842. Mr. Pattison was stationed at Quilon from 1838 
to 1844, when the Board dissolved his connection with the 
Society. The other two gave many years' service. Mr. 
Abbs, after eight years' residence at Neyoor, removed in 
1845 to Pareychaley. In 1840 the South Travancore 
Mission had i.5,oco adherents, and 7.500 scholars, of whom 
nearly i ,cco were girls. 

The Rev. J. O. Whitehouse, who reached Nagercoil in 
1842, devoted himself mainly to the highly important 
work of the seminary for the training of native agents. 
In 1846 Ebenezer Lewis, who had been at work for six 
years in Coimbatur and Madras, joined the Nagercoil 
Mission. Upon his arrival it was re-divided into three 
districts, Nagercoil, Jamestown, and Santhapuram, under 
the care respectively of Mr. Mault, Mr. Russell, and 
Mr. Lewis. 

Mr. Whitehouse. after eight years' experience in Nager- 
coil, sent home under date of March 5, 1851, a statement 
of the condition of the Travancore Mission after nearly 
half a century's work, so clear and so important as to 
deserve permanent record. So far as we know it has 
never been printed before : — 

' The origin, continuance, and increase of many of our 
congregations are to be traced to oppression. People have 
been driven to Christianity by fear, and not drawn to it by 
conviction. They came, not because they think that the 


religion taught is true, but because they think those who 
teach it have influence with the ruhng powers in the 
country, and are therefore able to protect them. Thus 
any body of religionists, whether Papists or Mohammedans, 
or any thing else, provided they be thought to have power 
and willingness to protect and aid those who embrace the 
faith they teach, would meet with considerable success in 
gathering professed converts ; and the more hberty of 
conduct the teachers will give their converts, the more will 
flock to them. A proportion is often to be noticed between 
the degree of oppression and the number of converts newly 
presenting themselves. And in certain months in the year, 
when the demand of the Government upon the people in 
making preparation for heathen festivals is very burden- 
some, the number of those who seek exemption by 
embracing Christianity is the greater. 

' Some years ago, through the influence of the British 
Resident, a proclamation was issued, declaring that the 
natives who embrace Christianity are not liable to be called 
upon to perform the various services for the heathen 
temples, demanded by law of those who continue to be 
heathens. Much vigilance is necessary to prevent the 
lower officials from depriving Christians of their right 
of exemption, but up to the present time the higher 
authorities act consistently with the proclamation, the 
issue of which they, without doubt, greatly regret. And, 
as in many cases, it was not truth which drew, but trouble 
which drove people to Christian profession, the moment the 
trouble has passed and protection has been obtained, many 
return to idolatry, sometimes to return again and again to 
Christianity as convenience may suit. From the operation 
of these principles by far the greater number of converts 
come to us, frequently in tens, twenties, or a village at once. 
But though many soon renounce Christianity (if indeed they 
can be said to renounce that which they never really 
embraced) many remain, and the adherence which origi- 
nated in inferior reasons often becomes one of superior 
reasons — a rational conviction of the truth of Christianity. 


In intelligence, energy, and all other good characteristics, 
I think the Travancoreans stand lower than other Hindus, 
low as they are ; so that were it not for the temporal 
advantages connected with Christian profession, I believe 
even Christian professors would have formed a very small 

' The members of our congregations may be divided into 
three classes : first, those who have become Christians for 
the sake of protection or other temporal advantages ; 
second, those whose relatives were Christians, and who are 
the same because their fathers were such ; and third, those 
who have embraced Christianity through conviction of its 
truth. Of these classes the last is, as may be expected, the 
smallest ; the second is increasing with time. Some 
individuals may belong to two or even all the classes, and 
many have risen from a lower to a higher. 

' Such are the materials on which we have to work, and 
they for the most part belong either to the Shanar or 
Pariah caste. If we were more lax in discipline, if 
Christians were left to learn or not, and to act just as the\' 
please, and if caste distinctions were recognized, more of 
the higher caste natives would join us; but as we make the 
Scriptures the rule for practice, and the acquirement of 
Christian knowledge absolutely necessary, and disregard 
and discountenance caste distinctions, only a few of those 
who are considered of higher caste have embraced 
Christianity. No missionary but one who has been 
brought up in the country, and has been constantly used 
to caste distinctions, or who has looked very uperficially at 
the subject, can fail to see the chilling and contracting 
influence of caste, and how counteractive it must prove to 
the warming and expanding power of Christianity. Those 
churches in India where caste is recognized are very grave- 
yards of Christian hopes. 

' From a more than thirty years operation of these 
collecting or retaining influences, above referred to, a large 
body of Christian professors is now met with around us ; 
among whom there are many who are more than professors, 


who are actuated by Christian principles, and, considering 
their circumstances, are very interesting characters. But 
with this before me, I cannot say that the time is surely 
near when India will be the Lord's. I cannot understand 
how some can say so. It is true we have numbers, but 
numbers of what class of people, — the lowest, the poorest, 
and the most degraded, people who have little or no 
influence in the country, people who have everything to 
gain and nothing to lose by becoming Christians. We 
have numbers, but even among them only a small minority 
feel the power of the truth. How then can it be said that 
India will soon be the Lord's, when the mass of the people, 
the intelligent, the wealthy, and the influential, though 
they may in many cases assent to the truth of Christianity, 
feel nothing of its power ? The felt power of Christianity 
alone can bring such to number themselves with the 
followers of Christ ; and with such multiplied hindrances 
as there are to such a step, for some of them to become 
true Christians will indeed be a triumph. Nothing but 
a strange revolution in things can cause Christian pro- 
fession quickly to become general, and without such a 
revolution nothing but an extraordinary outpouring of the 
Holy Spirit's influence can bring over the higher classes of 
Hindus to us. This is a view which observation and 
common sense lead to ; and one held, I think, by all 
intelligent modern missionaries. 

' With the numerous openings for Christian instruction 
alluded to above, an early question with the missionary 
was, In what form is instruction to be given, and by what 
agents ? The Scriptures, and Watts' first, second, and Scrip- 
ture catechisms, translated into Tamil, together with tracts 
on various subjects, were and still continue to be put into 
the hands of the readers for the instruction of the people, 
and these readers were the best qualified persons that were 
obtainable. Deficiency on the part of the teachers and of 
those who were to be taught tended to prevent progress. 
The minds of the converts were so constantly occupied by 
matters of fact around them, so unused to think and deal 
II. M 


with anything abstract, and so unaccustomed to hear gram- 
matical Tamil, that Watts' catechisms were almost unin- 
telligible to the majority. Besides this, the readers were 
so obscure in their views and so limited in ability to 
illustrate and develop the principles laid down so simply, 
as we think, in the catechisms, that but little improvement 
was made. 

' These defects still exist, though of course not to the 
extent of former years. The elder brethren who had most 
to do in the construction and early working of the machinery 
of this mission were, and in a measure are still, of the old 
school. They left England in the days of catechisms and 
learning by rote. Since they left, education has been more 
clearly understood, and more systematically, philosophic- 
ally, and successfully carried on. Thus old educational 
fashions have been continued here, and have been adopted 
by later comers, because they were the modes of procedure 
which they found were being pursued. The importance of 
paying great attention to the training of agents has not 
been felt so strongly as it should have been ; at least, the 
amount of effort to this end seems to indicate this. The 
difference between knowing and being able to teach does 
not seem to have been recognized very clearly ; and thus, 
while instruction has been given to the agents, little or 
nothing has been done in training them to teach ; yet with 
most of the people, simple as children, ignorant and 
degraded in the lowest degree, teaching powers of a high 
order are required. With such a people Watts' catechisms 
must be simplified ; tracts, such as we have, which are in 
the sermon form, mostly translations from English tracts 
and sermons, are obscure and hard to be understood ; and 
sermons, in making which some of the readers succeed 
pretty well, are ineffective. Some in the congregations 
who have had greater advantages can readily understand 
and profit by the tracts and sermons, but the majority 
cannot ; and we, as foreigners, and speaking grammatical 
Tamil, find it a great difficulty to reach the minds of the 
inajority, and I believe rarely succeed in doing so. With 


such a state of things — and I have not exaggerated — 
a most vigorous teacher training is of the highest moment. 
The want of it has weighed heavily on my mind for some 

' I am sure if our readers and schoolmasters were better 
teachers we should see greater progress. I have been 
quietly experimenting on this point lately. I have regu- 
larly visited a small congregation every Sunday morning, 
and, in the presence of the reader, talked zvith the people on 
a subject ; sometimes I have let him talk, and listened, and 
put in a word or suggested an illustration occasionally. 
Now I am sure the effort has been useful, both to the 
reader and the people. The congregation is that at 

' I have at my side one or two, whom I have trained, 
and who fully understand my views of what teaching 
should be ; and thus, with the seminary in full working, 
weekly training classes, and perhaps a normal school for 
school teachers, I hope with their help to bring about 
a better state of things. But this must not supersede con- 
stant diligence, on the part of those who have the charge of 
districts, in directing the studies and guiding the mental 
operations of the agents employed by them. Many minds 
drawn out and disciplined in the seminary in former years 
have, on being employed as readers, sunk into mental 
sloth and been suffered to rust, by not requiring enough 
mental effort of them, and by joining them in classes with 
teachers of inferior powers and attainments. With a very 
little mental exertion the machine will work after a fashion ; 
and some agents, seeing this, have been satisfied with this 
fashion, and give only the effort required for this, and have 
sunk in mind and been like cyphers, holding a place but 
nothing in value. The catechism and viemoriter system 
has done much to produce such merely mechanical doings.' 

Mr. Whitehouse, who by his skill, energy, and perse- 
verance did much to revolutionize for good the system of 
training in the seminary over which he presided, and in 
the schools throughout Travancore, further emphasizes the 

M 1 


unsatisfactory character of the mission in a letter dated 
August 30, 1852. In this letter he expresses views which 
the experience of the last fifty years goes far to confirm : — 

' Situated as much of India is as to government and 
laws, the persecution to which Christian converts in those 
parts can be subject is mainly of a petty kind, confined 
chiefly to the family and social circle of those who have 
embraced the truth, and the scope for persecution has been 
greatly narrowed lately by the " Lex Loci " Act. While 
a large number of the young men educated in these insti- 
tutions will reject idolatry as absurd, it is to be feared 
that many will find rest in a frigid deism, yet we may 
expect that the number of those who will go on to know 
and trust in the Lord will increase, and thus they will by 
degrees form a body who after a time will be tolerated and 
then received as a part of general native society. 

' But I see no such prospect for Travancore, as things 
are now going on. There is no spirit of inquiry on any 
subject among the -natives, whether high or low. Though 
all the Shanars and Pariahs in the country were to become 
Christians, there would be no sensation among the influential 
classes. The case is just this : a Christian mission was com- 
menced in Travancore by persons supposed to have power 
and influence ; hundreds of oppressed outcasts, accounted 
to be the dregs of society, fled to it as a great charity and 
asylum, and not as an institution designed to improve the 
spiritual condition of the people. A field for effort was 
at once presented to the missionary, and his time and 
strength were expended in giving instruction to persons 
who did not care about the instruction and only wanted 
the protection of the missionary. Agents from the same 
classes were employed to teach the people, who themselves 
needed to be taught, who because of their position in 
society hardly dared to speak to those of high caste, and 
who were unable to meet any but the most feeble of the 
arguments, or answer any but the simplest inquiries of 
heathens and others about Christianity. Even now very 
little is done among the higher classes. A few schools 


have been established among them, which must always 
be conducted by high-caste masters, and which would be 
instantly deserted if low-caste men were appointed to the 
office. The almost undivided attention of the missionaries 
is given to the protection and oversight of the Christian 
congregations, and the result is a large circle of professing 
Christians, four-fifths of whom would be heathens or any- 
thing else to-morrow if they thought they would better 
their condition by it ; and, connected with this, a great 
expense for the support of readers whose capabilities are 
very small, and whose instructions are sought for by only 
a small minority. 

' I think the Scotchmen have been the most long-sighted 
in their proceedings. T/uy also present an attraction : 
instruction in the English language and science, which is 
an attraction to the higher and influential classes, especially 
at the seats of Government. They draw around them 
thousands of native youths, and in them in a short run 
of years they will influence the head and all the chief 
members of Hindu society. In them they are sending 
forth minds that only want time and wisdom, and they 
will enlighten, elevate, and reform the Indian social com- 
munity. Progress has commenced, and if the church does 
not stay it by looking too much to human instrumentality 
and too little to the great Regenerator of society — the 
Spirit of God — it will go on with accelerated velocity, and 
thirty years hence surprising advance will have been made. 
But in the present system of Travancore missions, I expect 
thirty years hence things will be found but little in advance 
of their present position.' 

Pareychaley was the last main station in the Tamil dis- 
trict to be occupied. It passed under the care of Mr. Abbs, 
and from ICS38 to 1845 he supervised it from Neyoor. In 
1845 he removed to Pareychaley, and continued in active 
work there until his return to England in 1859. 

Side by side with the Tamil Mission, work has been carried 
on, though without conspicuous success, in the Malayalim 
country. The two main stations were formed, Quilon 


in 1821, and Trevandrum in 1838. In 1827 Mr. J. C. 
Thompson took up work at Ouilon, and laboured there for 
twenty-three years, until his death in 1850. For a brief 
time in 1832 he had a colleague, Mr. W. Harris, but his 
health soon failed, and Mr. Thompson was left alone. It 
was not till 1837, after ten years' residence, that a native 
church was formed, and then with only six members. At 
his death the Christian community numbered about 200. 
He was succeeded by Mr. Pattison, referred to above. 

In 1 85 1 Mr. Mead, who had been associated with the 
mission for thirty-five years, for the most part at Neyoor, 
married a young Pariah, and thus destroyed at a stroke his in- 
fluence and usefulness. He retired from the Society's service 
the same year. Somewhat similar circumstances led to the 
retirement of Mr. Cox from Trevandrum in 1861. The ill 
health of Mr. Whitehouse compelled his retirement in 1857. 
Mr. C. C. Leitch took up medical work at Neyoor in 1853, 
but was drowned in 1854. Mr. J. J. Dennis reached 
Nagercoil in 1856, and for some years carried on most 
vigorous and useful work; but in 1862 his health failed, 
and after a visit to England, which failed to restore 
him, he died at Nagercoil in 1864. Mr. Duthie in 1859 
assumed charge of the Nagercoil seminary, and at the close 
of the century's work (1895) he was still there in full and 
active service. Mr. Duthie's colleagues during this period 
were— Mr. G. O. Newport, 1867 to 1877 ; Mr. S. Jones, 
i87itoi877; Mr. W. Lee, 1877 to 1884; Mr. A. L. Allan, 
1884 to 1895; Mr. A. Thompson, 1888 to 1891. 

At Neyoor the succession of workers in the same period 
was — F. Baylis, 1854 to 1877 ; F. Wilkinson, i860 to 
' 1865 ; I, H. Hacker, 1878 to 189J. The Medical Mission, 
the most successful in India under the care of the Society, 
of which a detailed account is given in Chapter VII, has been 
successively in charge of C. Leitch, 1853 and 1854; 
Dr. Lowe, 1861 to 1871 ; Dr. Smith Thomson. 1873 to 
1884 ; E. S. Fry, 1885 to 1892 ; and Arthur Fells, 1892 to 

Trevandrum is the capital of Travancore, a town of 


60,000 inhabitants, and important as the centre and seat of 
the native Government, and also as the residence of the 
British Resident and British officers. It was not until 1838 
that Mr. Cox succeeded, through General Fraser, in getting 
a grant from the rajah of a piece of waste land upon which 
mission buildings could be built. At that time there were 
about forty Christian adherents in the town and district. 
Mr. Cox laboured steadily at Trevandrum until i(S6i. 

Samuel Mateer, whose name with that of James Duthie 
has been closely associated with Travancore for over thirty 
years, reached Pareychaley, to which he had been appointed, 
in 1859. In 1 86 1, on the retirement of Mr. Cox, he took 
temporary charge of Trevandrum and Quilon, and in 1863 
his head quarters became Trevandrum, while in 1866 Mr. 
Wilkinson took charge of Quilon. For the next twenty- 
five years, except during furloughs and temporary charge 
of Quilon, he was continuously in the Trevandrum district. 

About 1855 persecution by the Siidras again broke out? 
and in 1 856 matters were so serious that pressure was brought 
to bear upon the Madras Government to intervene. This 
Lord Harris did, and the rajah promised to do what he 
could to improve matters. But unhappily the British 
Resident, General Cullen, was a man with no sympathy 
towards Christian work ; and having resided in India for 
nearly fifty years, had practically ceased to be an English- 
man and had become nearly a Hindu. Only with great 
difficulty could he be induced to exert any useful influence. 
The origin of the troubles was the same as that which had 
caused an outbreak at an earlier date, in 1827 — the indigna- 
tion and anger of the high-caste people at the education 
and beneficial influences brought to bear upon the low-caste 
and the out-caste population. The old indecent heathen 
law required women of low caste to go about naked down 
to the waist. Naturally the Christian native women were 
taught to disregard this custom, and about 1856 many had 
begun to wear the' upper cloth 'which distinguished women 
of the higher castes from those of the lower. The 
proclamation of the Queen's supremacy, either through 


ignorance or design, was twisted for a time into a declara- 
tion against the continuance of Christian work. The police 
and lower officials were very bitter and oppressive against 
all Christians. Men were beaten, imprisoned, and often 
falsely condemned ; chapels and schools were destroyed; the 
clothing of women was torn from them in the markets and 
in the streets. After a long controversy between the rajah's 
officials and the missionaries, who were very reluctantly 
compelled to invoke the aid of the Madras Government, 
Sir Charles Trevel}-an, who was then governor, promptly 
and effectively interposed. On July 26, 1^59, a proclamation 
appeared stating that there was no objection to Shanar 
women dressing in coarse cloth and tying it round their 
shoulders. In 1864 another proclamation extended this 
right to women of the Haver and all lower castes. In this 
grudging way the native Government yielded to pressure. 
For a time Christian natives were thus prevented from 
wearing fine cloths, and from wearing them in a manner not 
openly conveying an acknowledgement of inferiority. Time 
has, to a large extent, abolished the grievance. During 
1858 and 1859, so great was the excitement aroused by 
these events, that about 3,000 persons renounced heathenism 
for Christianity. 

In i860 Travancore was visited by a grievous famine, 
and for the first time on a large scale relief came from 
Great Britain. Multitudes died; but multitudes, who would 
certainly have died, were saved by this benevolence. 
' Nothing,' wrote the Dewan or Prime Minister, ' can be 
a nobler spectacle that that of a people, thousands of miles 
remote from India, contributing so liberally to the relief 
of suffering here.' In 1861 no less than 4,000 Shanars 
joined the Christian community. 

From 1862 to 1867 great progress was made in the 
Pareychaley and Neyoor districts, and in 1867 alone the 
Christian community received nearly 4,000 new adherents. 
Mr. Mateer, making a tour through the villages inhabited 
by these people, tells us that he found there ' a remarkable 
.spirit of earnestness, diligence, and attention.' He found 


scant time, even for refreshment ; in every village the 
building set apart for worship was crowded with people, 
' eager to hear the Word of life.' 

On February 13, 1866, an important forward step 
in the policy of the Travancore Mission was taken. 
C. Yesudian, who had long been head master of the 
seminary at Nagcrcoil, was ordained as an assistant 
missionary, and was placed over twelve conj^regations in the 
northern part of the Nagercoil district. At the same time 
three others were ordained as native pastors : Devadasen, a 
Brahman convert, who became pastor of Nagercoil Church ; 
Zechariah, of the church at Neyoor ; and Masillamam, the 
grandson of the first Christian convert in Travancore, of 
the church at Dennispuram. In the following year, 1867, 
at Trevandrum, seven additional native pastors were 
ordained. The rearrangement of work caused by these 
events led to the removal of Mr. Wilkinson from Santha- 
puram to Quilon. 

Devadasen, one of those ordained in 1866, had a re- 
markable history. He was first employed by Mr. Mault 
as a school teacher, when still a heathen. After four 
years' training he married a wife, then only five years old. 
After five or six years' service he began to read the Bible, 
and he was stimulated by learning from another Brahman 
that the Puranas were only legends. Finally he resolved 
to become a Christian, but fearing persecution asked to be 
sent to another mission. But at length his courage rose 
to the occasion ; he broke his sacred string, and prior to 
baptism he ate with Mr. Mault. His conversion greatly 
enraged all his friends, who said he was mad. His wife 
was not allowed to join him ; and later he married a 
Pariah Christian, with whom he lived for ten years. Some 
time after her death his old heathen wife sent him word 
that she was now willing to become a Christian, and finally 
he married her in the Christian form. For many years he 
presided over Nagercoil Church. 

So rapid had been the growth of the Christian community 
during the decade i860 to 1870, that in the latter year 


there were in Travancore nine missionaries, eleven native 
ordained ministers, 210 native preachers, 2,331 church 
members, 30,969 adherents, 138 boys' schools with 4,168 
scholars, and 23 girls' schools with 883 scholars. The local 
contributions in 1870 reached ^905. 

In 1 890 there were seven missionaries, eighteen ordained 
native ministers, 174 male and 67 female evangelists and 
catechists, 279 congregations, 21,706 baptized persons. 
6,004 church members, 321 schools (of which 32 were for 
girls), 10,869 boy scholars and 3,779 girls. The local con- 
tributions amounted to 15,441 rupees. 

To detail the history underlying these figures, and to 
indicate the multitude of attractive and instructive facts 
they represent, is impossible. They represent the practical 
conversion from heathenism to Christianity of a whole 
community. It is true that the individuals for the most 
part belong to the lowest classes in the social grade, but 
such is the uplifting and ennobling influence of Christianity 
and education that the Shanar and Pariah classes are now 
beginning to possess a determining influence upon public 
opinion and social life. The Brahman and the Siidra still 
despise them as inferiors, but they are disagreeably surprised 
at times to find the Christian Pariah rivalling them in 
education and in capacity for public service. Slowly and 
surely in this, as in so many other fields in the world's 
story, God has chosen the weak things to confound the 
mighty, and the despised and the things that are not to 
bring to nought the things that are. 

[Authorities. — Letters, Manuscripts, and Official Reports; History of 
Protestant Missions in India, Shierring ; The Land of Cha7-ity, by S. Mateer ; 
The Gospel in South India, by S. Mateer ; The Life of the Rev. Richard Knill, 
by C. M. Birrell; Benjamin Rice; or. Fifty Years in the Master's Se7-vice, by 
E. P. Rice, B.A. ; Twenty tivo Years' Alissionary Expe}-ience in Travancore, 
by John Abbs ; Missions in South Itidia, by Joseph Mullens ; The Reports of 
the Conferences of South Indian Missionaries at Dotacamand in 1858 ; and at 
Bangalore in 1879 ; also Reports of the Calcutta Conference, 1S82, and the 
Ijombay Conference, 1892.] 


NORTH INDIA: 1825-1895 

North India has during the nineteenth century proved 
the hard and relatively unfruitful field of missionary toil. 
The bonds of Hindu idolatry and custom seem harder to 
break there than in other parts. Muhammadans, possibly 
the most difficult of all to bring under Christian influence, 
abound, Benares and other holy Hindu centres, and the 
entire valley of the Ganges — the great sacred river — have 
up to the present proved but barren soil for the seed of 
Christian life and thought. Still for the last seventy 
years of the century Christian work was earnestly carried 
forward, not without some encouraging successes. Enu- 
meration of all the workers and all the stations occupied 
would only present long lists of names and dates, and tend 
but to weary and confuse the reader. So far as the 
external history is concerned, it must suffice to indicate the 
chief centres of labour, and the men and women who have 
impressed their personality most deeply upon the work. 

1. Calcutta. As the capital of India, the seat of 
Government, and the centre of administrative and social 
life and influence, this great city, which stretches for seven 
miles along the banks of the Hugh, and which is inhabited 
by at least 700,000 human beings, has naturally a prominent 
place in the attention and concern of all the great missionary 
Societies. We have already traced the beginnings of the 
work there. In 1826 the missionaries of the Society 
resident in Calcutta were Samuel Trawin, James Hill, and 
Charles Piffard, with George Gogerly as superintendent 
of the press. Mr. Hill was the pastor of Union Chapel. 

172 NORTH INDIA: 1S25-1S95 

The work was similar to that carried on in all great centres 
of population — English services, vernacular services, bazaar 
preaching, meeting inquirers, educational work. Union 
Chapel has always been a strong centre of Christian work, 
self-supporting, and a liberal contributor to local funds. 
In bazaar preaching at different centres three or four of the 
missionaries have been always employed. One of the. most 
successful workers in this department was the Rev. A. F. 
Lacroix. He went to Chinsurah in 1821 as agent of the 
Netherlands Missionary Society. In 1827, when that Society 
relinquished work in India, he offered his services to the 
London Missionary Society, and was gladly accepted. He 
removed to Calcutta in 1829, and in 1837 he took up his 
residence at Bhowanipore, a suburb on the south side of 
Calcutta. While taking some share in educational labour, 
his great service was vernacular preaching and itinerating. 
During 1842 and 1843 he was in Europe, but he returned 
to Calcutta in January, 1844. In 1856 his health began to 
fail, and on July 8, 1859, after thirty-eight years' service in 
India, he died at Calcutta. The whole Christian community 
mourned for him. Native Christians carried his coffin, the 
Bishop of Calcutta followed him to the grave, Dr. Duff, 
one of his oldest friends, preached the funeral sermon. 
A contemporary record states : ' Having obtained a mastery 
over the Bengali language (in which, perhaps, he was 
excelled by no European) he was pre-eminently qualified 
for the office of a preacher among the Hindus, and the 
power and success with which he laboured in this vocation 
multitudes in India, both Christians and heathen, can 
testify.' Mr. Sherring also tells us, ' He could always secure 
a large audience by the charm of his manner and voice, 
and by a felicitious use of idiomatic Bengali in enunciating 
his well-arranged ideas, often associated with beautiful 
imagery, which delighted his hearers, and sometimes 
attracted them to himself by a peculiar fascination ^.' 

The native Christian church under the care of the 
Society in the capital is at Bhowanipore, and was opened 

' Protestant Missions in India (1884^ p. loS. 


in ICS23. Under the care of Mr. Lacroix and other workers 
this church steadily grew in influence, and became partly 
self-supporting. Much evangelistic work was also done in 
and around the city at Kidderpore, Rammakalchoke, and 
other centres. 

Time and labour were also very freely given to the all- 
important work of education. From the commencement 
of the mission, schools for boys and girls, and efforts to 
train catechists and native teachers, held a foremost place 
in the plans and efforts of the missionaries. In Calcutta 
the educational work carried on by the Society centred 
in and around the Bhowanipore Institution. This was 
founded in 1837, and was modelled upon Dr. Duff's famous 

In that year Mr, Lacroix obtained a suitable native 
house with a compound; and established the Christian 
Institution upon a permanent basis. Prior to this there 
had been vernacular boys' and girls' schools, and in 1836 
these were under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell. Mr. 
Lacroix took to his new school the boys formerly taught 
by Mr. Campbell, and also those taught in an English day 
school at Kidderpore. The number of pupils thus brought 
together was sixteen Christian boys and six Hindus. Very 
soon the numbers reached sixty, and by 1851, in the In- 
stitution and two branch schools connected with it, there 
were 800 pupils. Mr. Lacroix also instituted a theological 
class, with the object of supplying native teachers and 
preachers. In the school the training was largely in 
English, though the vernacular was also used, and the 
course of instruction was thoroughly Christian. The classes 
for native agents were, of course, conducted in Bengali. 

The Calcutta Mission of the Society has been sustained 
by a long series of able scholarly and devoted men. In 
1850 Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Mundy were nearing the close 
of their long service — the latter died in 1853, the former in 
1859. Their colleagues were J. H. Parker, Joseph Mullens, 
E. Storrow, W. H. Hill, Dr. Charles Buch, and Dr. Thomas 
Boaz. Mr. Parker came to India in 1844, and gave himself 

174 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

to evangelistic work in the Cooly Bazaar, and also to the 
superintendence of vernacular schools. He died in 1858. 
Thomas Boaz reached Calcutta in December, 1834, to 
take the pastorate of Union Chapel. As usual in the case 
of the pastor of this church, he rendered what service he 
could in addition to the general work of the mission. In 
1847 he visited England to urge the claims of, and to raise 
funds for, the rebuilding and enlargement of the Bhowani- 
pore Institution, and in this special service he met with 
great success. While in England the King's College, 
Aberdeen, conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. He 
returned to India in 1849, but his health failed in 1858, and 
he returned to England. He died in London, October i'^, 

Joseph Mullens reached Calcutta in 1844, and divided 
his labours between Cooly Bazaar Church and the Bhowani- 
pore Institution. In June, 1845, he married a daughter 
of Mr. Lacroix. Much of his time was given up to 
Bengali preaching. In June, 1849, ^^- Lacroix and he 
visited Cuttack and Puri to preach to the multitudes 
assembling at the great festival. In 1853 he made a tour 
through South India, and in 1855 took a prominent part 
in the Missionary Conference held at Calcutta that year. 
During 1855 and 1856 he took an active share in shaping 
the constitution of the Calcutta University, and he acted 
as one of the first examiners. Mrs. Mullens was most 
energetic and successful in work among women and girls ^. 
On the failure of Dr. Tidman's health, in 1865, Dr. Mullens 
was appointed Foreign Secretary. At the request of the 
Directors, prior to his return to England, he made a tour 
of inspection to all the stations of the Society in South 
India and in China. 

Mr. W. H. Hill was the son of Micaiah Hill, and took 
part in the Calcutta Mission from 1848 to r86i,whenhe 
returned to England, and in 1863 from ill health retired. 
Dr. Buch joined the mission in 1849 as one of the 
superintendents'of the Bhowanipore Institution, but resigned 

' For details of her work see Chapter VIII. 


in October, 1850, and accepted the Principalship of the 
Government College at Bareilly. On June i, 1857, he was 
shot by the mutineers. Mr. Storrow was appointed to 
Bhowanipore in 1848. During the absence of Mr. Boaz 
he acted as pastor of Union Chapel, and upon the resig- 
nation of Dr. Boaz in i860 he was invited by the church 
to succeed to the pastorate. Illness compelled his retire- 
ment in January, 1866, and he was never able to return 
to India. 

In i860 the new members of the staff were S. J. Hill, 
W. Johnson, and J. E. Payne. All of these gave many 
years of service to the mission. Mr. Hill took up verna- 
cular work in 1852. He also was a son of Mr. Micaiah 
Hill, and the brother of W. H. Hill. He was resident in 
Calcutta when accepted as a missionary. From 1853 to 
1858 he was at Berhampur. From 1858 to 1861 he was 
in Calcutta, and after Mr. Lacroix's death he preached in 
the bazaar chapels in addition to the superintendence of 
Bhowanipore native church. From 1861 to 1864 he was 
in England ; and in 1 864 he returned to Berhampur, where 
he died in 1891. 

By 1 85 1 the work at Bhowanipore had so greatly 
increased in importance and success that the missionaries 
determined to rebuild the Institution and make it one of 
the finest, best equipped, and most efficient high schools 
in India. The foundation stone of the new building was 
laid by Dr. Boaz, the pastor of Union Chapel, on April 8, 
1 85 1, and he also preached the sermon in the morning. In 
the evening Mr. Lacroix, in the course of his sermon, put 
admirably the cause of education from the missionary stand- 
point, and his testimony was all the more weighty as it 
came from an acknowledged master of vernacular preaching 
and evangelistic labour. 

' When the first missionaries arrived in Bengal, acting up 
to our Lord's command to preach the Gospel, they devoted 
nearly the whole of their time and energies to the proclama- 
tion of the glad tidings of salvation to the adults through 
the vernacular language. And truly, a more scriptural 

176 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

and excellent mode of proceeding could not have been 
adopted. Yet experience soon showed that this was not as 
comprehensive as could have been desired, owing to 
certain local circumstances and peculiarities in the native 
feelings and habits, which rendered its use, to a certain 
degree, of limited application. The fact is, that com- 
paratively few only of the most respectable and influential 
classes attended the preaching of the Gospel in bazaars and 
other places of public resort, because they objected to 
mixing in a promiscuous assembly with persons of the 
lowest ranks and castes. Hence the missionaries had often 
to lament the absence, on these occasions, of the very 
individuals whom, from their position in society, it was 
of high importance they should influence. Again, it was 
found that preaching to fluctuating assemblies, though the 
best, and in fact the only means of reaching the generality 
of the population, did not always allow to the missionary 
sufficient time and opportunity to declare the whole counsel 
of God to his hearers, or to instruct them thoroughly in 
the doctrines of Christianity. 

'The missionaries deplored these adverse circumstances, 
and asked God for His guidance and interference : nor 
were these withheld. Almost suddenly, a door of useful- 
ness was opened which promised to be the most effective 
auxiliary to preaching, inasmuch as it, in a great measure, 
supplied the advantages which the former did not afford 
to the extent wished for. An almost universal desire to 
become acquainted with the English language and Western 
literature had existed among the young men belonging to 
the most respectable families in the land : of this the 
missionaries, among whom Dr. Duff was foremost, availed 
themselves to establish schools, where not merely a secular 
education of a superior kind should be given, but where in 
a special manner the saving truths of Christianity should 
be taught and inculcated. 

' This succeeded beyond all expectation. Hundreds and 
thousands of young men, many of them appertaining to the 
influential classes, flocked to these schools, and continued 


in them long enough to go through a regular course of 
Christian education, including a close study of the Bible, 
its doctrines, precepts, and the evidences on which it is 
received as the Word of God. Numbers of the pupils 
acquired such a proficiency in this knowledge as to equal, 
if not in some instances to surpass, the attainments of 
many young men brought up carefully even in Christian 

The missionaries in a report dated March 27, 1H54, were 
able to announce the completion of their great enterprise. 
' F'our years ago, the missionaries of the London Mis- 
sionary Society in Calcutta presented to their Christian 
friends in North India the plan which they had then 
adopted for extending the usefulness of the Society's 
mission at Bhowanipore. This plan included several 
distinct objects. 

' First. They desired to erect a new institution, for the 
general purpose of native Christian education among the 
Hindus,including a college department, and having sufficient 
room to accommodate a thousand scholars. This building 
was to take the place of the old bungalow, in which the 
same missionary purposes had been carried out for fifteen 
years, but which had become too small. 

' Secondly. They wished to provide a residence for 
native students for the Christian ministry, or for young 
men dependent on the care of the mission. Nothing of 
the kind had existed hitherto, and its want had besn 
greatly felt. 

'Thirdly. It was desirable to improve the accommoda- 
tion provided for a few Christian boys, and for the large 
boarding school for native Christian girls which has 
flourished at the station for so many years. 

' Fourthly. They were anxious to erect a dwelling- 
house for one of the missionaries resident at the station, 
for a double reason: first, that only one such house exists 
where two are needed ; and, secondly, because the rent of 
such a house would always serve as a fund for keeping the 
whole of the mission buildings in repair. 

11. N 

178 NORTH INDIA : 1S25-1S95 

'And lastly. They desired to provide, if possible, a 
small chapel for the use of the native congregation. 

' They can report, with much thankfulness to God, that 
all these designs have been completed, and that all the 
material agencies requisite for the effective maintenance 
of a missionary establishment are now in the missionaries' 
hands, in a way and to a degree which they have never 
enjoyed before. 

'The mission dwelling-house was completed a year 
ago, and was at once occupied. The students' residence 
and the institution for Hindu scholars were opened on 
February 2, 1854. Of all these buildings, the institution 
is by far the most conspicuous and most important. 
It has a very noble appearance, and occupies a most 
commanding position. It is the finest and most pro- 
minent object not only of the missionary station, but of 
Bhowanipore and its neighbourhood. Its length is 180 
feet, and its width 95. It is built in the pure Doric style, 
which, in addition to its exceeding beauty, is admirably 
adapted for this country. The internal arrangements are 
as convenient as the external is noble. Across the west 
front of the building lies a large hall, 90 feet long by 38 
feet wide, and 35 feet high. From the ends of this 
hall two rows of rooms branch off towards the east, 
leaving an open court between them, intended to furnish 
light and air to the centre of the building. A corridor 
runs round this court and connects all the rooms together. 
The hall of course rises the full height of the building, and 
is covered by a light roof supported on iron trusses : the 
rest of the building is two-storied. Several of the rooms 
are large, and furnish the library, lecture-rooms, and class- 
rooms for the students and scholars. The institution 
contains comfortable accommodation for eleven hundred 
boys and students. The cost of these valuable buildings, 
and of the land on which they stand, has risen to a large 
sum. Though the missionaries have studied economy as 
far as possible, they have expended in securing them no 
less than £'j,cco.' 


This report is signed by six well-known missionary 
names: A. F. Lacroix, J. Paterson, T. Boaz, LL.D., 
J. Mullens, W. H. Hill, and E. Storrow. 

The Government of India, while under the control of the 
East India Company, was very leisurely in its attempts to 
foster education ; and had always manifested an active and 
unreasonable hostility to the inculcation of Christianity in 
any form ; the Company's settled policy being to secure as 
absolute a neutrality as possible in all matters affecting 
religion. The first grant for educational purposes was not 
made until 1H13, and then amounted to only i^io,ooo. It 
was not until 1 853 that any vigorous effort was made to 
deal with the great question of education. Until 1854 there 
was also much absurd hostility, even on the part of mission- 
aries, to the use of English as a great educational medium. 
The Calcutta Christian Advocate for April 3, 1852, con- 
tained an able article, which sharply contrasted the Govern- 
ment and missionary methods of education. As the 
importance of missionary education has been in the past, 
and is in many quarters still, greatly misunderstood, the 
view maintained in this article deserves careful consideration. 

' In order that this question, whether the Government or 
missionary method of education is the preferable, may be 
answered aright, it is necessary to remember that the 
people of this country are for the most part Hindus, and 
that their sacred books treat of almost every subject ; 
astronomy, geography, physics, law, medicine — all occupy 
an important place in the Hindu Shastras. That the 
earth is sustained on the head of an immense serpent ; 
that the diameter of the earth's circumference is some 
4,000,000,000 miles, or more than sufficient to fill up with 
solid matter the whole of the earth's orbit ; that the 
earth is stationary, and that the sun, moon, and planets 
revolve around it ; that the sun is 800,000 miles from 
the earth the moon double that distance : these, and a 
thousand other things equally false and absurd, are taught 
in the Hindu sacred books, and are part and parcel of 

N 2 

l8o NORTH INDIA : 1S25-1S95 

' Now to teach Hindu youth that the above and similar 
statements are false and ridiculous, is " to interpose between 
the father and his child in the inculcation of religious 
opinions not approved by the parent ^," What the parent 
regards as sacred truths — as matter of divine revelation — 
the child is taught to reject with contempt, as no better 
than absurdities and lies. His confidence in the Hindu 
sacred books is necessarily and wholly destroyed. He 
must necessarily regard Hinduism as a miserable super- 
stition, and soon laughs to scorn the faith of his fathers. 
And this result follows with equal certainty, whether 
the youth is taught in Government or missionary institu- 
tions. True science, wherever and by whomsoever taught, 
kills Hinduism. No one v/ho possesses correct views of 
history, geography, astronomy, and chemistry can believe 
in the divine authority of the Hindu sacred books, or have 
any proper confidence in the Hindu religion. 

' What, then, are the real points of difference between 
the missionary and Government systems of education ? 

' I. The missionaries openly and frankly avow their 
intention of destroying, as far as they can by the exhibi- 
tion of truth, all confidence in Hinduism — they practise no 
concealment — their motives, their objects, are all freely and 
constantly proclaimed. But in the case of the Board of 
Education, the undeniable fact that all, or nearly all, the 
science taught in its schools is directly contrary to the 
teachings of the Hindu Shastras, and destructive of Hin- 
duism, is carefully kept in the background ; the people are 
assured that no religion whatever is taught in these schools ; 
that there is no interposing between the parent and his 
child by the inculcation of religious opinions contrary to the 
faith of the parent ; and thus the fears of the people are 
quieted. Moreover, hopes of preferment, wealth, and influ- 
ence are held forth to overcome any reluctance on the 
part of the parent, and to draw students to the Government 
seminaries ; and then, these children are in effect taught 
that the sacred books of their fathers are a wretched tissue 

' Tliis was one of the stock objections to Christian education. 


of absurdities and falsehoods, and wholly unworthy of the 
confidence of enlightened and educated men. 

' 2. The whole expense of Government education is 
drawn from the people ; not from those who profit by 
these schools, but from the public at large. They may 
see, and many of them do see clearly enough, that the 
education imparted by Government is fatal to Hinduism. 
But there is no help ; they must bear their portion of the 
expenditure on account of education, the same as any 
other public burden. The expense of the mission schools, 
on the contrary, is defrayed by the free, voluntary contri- 
butions of Christians in this and other lands ; and the 
Hindus are not compelled to support nor to patronize 
them in any way whatever. Thus, while no one can com- 
plain of what is done by the missionaries, it is easy to see 
how a genuine, honest Hindu might regard it '' as tyranny 
of the worst kind on the part of the state," thus not merely 
" to interpose between the father and his child in the incul- 
cation of religious opinions not approved by the parent," 
but to make him and his fellow religionists defray the 
whole expense of such a system. 

' 3. The youth of the Government schools, as we have 
seen, are taught that which destroys their confidence in 
Hinduism, and they are then left, without any religion, to 
grope their way, as they best can, to the knowledge of God 
and final salvation. Nay, those who stand forth as the 
representatives of the Government system too often commit 
the fatal blunder of setting forth secular education as all 
that is requisite for man to acquire ; and thus the youth of 
the land are not only taught to despise their ancestral creed, 
but they are virtually told that they need no other ! The 
result, unless averted by other agencies, must necessarily 
be a heartless, reckless, self-conceited infidelity. In the 
missionary schools, on the contrary, while confidence in 
Hinduism is gradually destroyed, the claims of a better 
faith are set forth and honestly and affectionately com- 
mended to the hearts and the judgment of the scholars. 
They are taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning 

l82 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

of wisdom, and that man's true dignity and happiness, yea, 
the chief end of his being, is to glorify God and to enjoy 
Him for ever. 

' If the question be asked, Which of these systems is the 
best ? we see not how any Christian man can hesitate in 
preferring that in which truth in all its relations can be 
exhibited, and by which the benign, ennobling influence of 
true religion is brought to bear upon the youth of the land. 

' The Government and the missionaries, however, sustain 
very different relations to the people of this country ; and 
if both engage in the work of education, they must neces- 
sarily adopt somewhat different systems. They are not, 
we conceive, at liberty to adopt a system i7i all respects the 
same. But the systems adopted need not be, and ought 
not to be, in any sense, antagonistic. The only difference 
required, and the only difference to be tolerated, is that one 
system should be more comprehensive and more perfect 
than the other. 

' The missionaries derive their commission from the Great 
Head of the Church, to preach the Gospel to the high and 
the low, to the old and the young ; and to propose that 
they should limit their instructions to merely secular sub- 
jects, is to ask them to renounce their commission, and to 
abandon the work to which they have been called. On the 
other hand, we should deeply lament anything like an 
attempt at proselyting on the part of Government. Govern- 
ment functionaries should ever act as Christian men ; they 
should give of their substance, and in every proper way 
seek to support and extend Christianity. But there is no 
spiritual authority for propagating Christianity by the civil 
power. And it would, we conceive, be most unjust, and in 
direct opposition to the spirit and the teachings of the 
Gospel, forcibly to wring taxes from an unwilling people 
to be expended in propagating among them a religion 
which they do not believe. Besides, a state-propagated 
Christianity, as experience proves, will generally be of little 
worth. A living Church alone can propagate a vital, 
genuine Christianity throughout the world. And to 


devolve this work on civil Governments is a fatal error. 
This, in such a country as India, would be to place the 
Gospel in a false position, and to rob it of its beauty and 
its power. In such circumstances, it would come to the 
people, not as a Divine message of peace and love, but as 
a conquering enemy, trusting for success to the strong arm 
of the state. This, we feel called on to say, is not the 
heaven-appointed agency for the conversion of the nations. 
And it is matter of deep regret if any missionary of the 
Gospel in India has ever given occasion to the native 
population to suppose, that he and his associates either 
expect or desire the active co-operation of the civil power 
in propagating Christianity among the people of this 

Considerations of this kind influenced the Christian men 
who at this period did so much to raise the standard of 
education in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, and other great 
Hindu centres. 

In 1855 the settled policy of charging fees in the mis- 
sionary educational institutions was generally adopted. 
This, for a brief period, checked their growth, but has in the 
end vastly increased their influence and their efficiency. In 
1880-1 the fees in the Bhowanipore Institution amounted 
to no less than ^^900, and the Government grant to ;^i8o. 

It is often urged against these institutions that they 
employ many non-Christian teachers, and that the results 
in the way of conversions are very scanty. Both these con- 
tentions might be admitted without seriously weakening 
the case for these schools. But as a matter of fact nearly 
all the cases of conversion from among the higher classes 
have been the result of educational work ; and no one 
scholar can pass through any one of these institutions with- 
out gaining at the least a fair head knowledge of the Bible. 

As an example of the good work done at Bhowanipore, 
we may quote the following striking conversion — one out of 
many. The narrative is from the pen of Mr. E. Storrow : — 

' Sibbhurdu Ghosal, a Brahmin, is eighteen years of 
age. For some time he was a pupil in the third class of 

l84 NORTH 'INDIA : 1825-1895 

our institution, but was removed about three years ago, 
and sent to the once well-known Union School. This was 
done by his brothers, not because he had displayed any 
leanings towards Christianity, but from prejudice against 
our institution as a missionary school. In January, 1H52, 
when Mr. Lacroix, Mr. S. Hill, and some of the converts 
were at the Gunga Saugor festival, a tract on caste was given 
him ; this led him to see the folly and wickedness of that 
abominable custom ; but it was a few weeks after this that 
the work of God seems really to have commenced in his 
heart ; and here I would notice a peculiarity in his case. 
Most educated young men begin with the discovery that 
Hinduism is false and Christianity tr-ne, and then proceed 
from the intellcctJial to the religions or moral aspects of the 
two faiths. He began with the latter. He was struck 
with a profound conviction of his own vileness and guilt — 
even among Bengalis he was esteemed very wicked ; he 
was also struck with the contrast between the extreme 
wickedness of all the people around him, and the perfect 
purity and loveliness of the Saviour's character. I asked 
him if he did not, after these convictions of sin first seized 
him, trust to some of the numerous penances of Hinduism 
for deliverance. He said, ''No, it was all too vile;" he 
felt that Christianity alone would do for a sinner. He 
then began to visit our converts, and had intercourse with 
Mr. Mullens, who was pleased with his sincerity, and just 
state of feeling. He therefore took refuge with us on 
Tuesday, June 29. Since then he has seen his relatives 
several times, and manifested the most unshaken adherence 
to the Gospel. He was baptized on Sunday evening, 
July 4, by Mr. Mundy, at Union Chapel.' 

For the last fifty years of the century Bhowanipore has 
been one of the great typical missionary educational 
institutions of India. Thousands of the flower of Hindu 
youth have passed through its curriculum. We have no 
means of accurately estimating the enormous influence 
it h;is wielded. What it became, the following extract 
from the Report for the Centenary Year, 1H95, shows : — 


'The original aim of our institution was evangelistic, 
to win Hindus for Christ by means of a sound Christian 
education. As the Christian community of Bhowani- 
pore gradually attained importance, our institution came 
to be of considerable value also as a training school for 
young Christians. Yet this long remained subordinate 
to the primary aim. It is now, however, becoming daily 
more possible to evangelize the educated young men of 
Calcutta by other and simpler means than the educational 
method — by preaching, personal intercourse, the press ; 
while the necessity for providing as thoroughly as possible 
for the higher education of the Christian community daily 
asserts itself more clearly. In order that they may be fit 
to hold their own — ^whether they be missionaries or laymen 
— in the swiftly advancing world of Calcutta, a sound 
intellectual education is indispensable; while they will 
receive nowhere but in a well-conducte J missionary 
institution such moral and religious discipline and instruc- 
tion as will brace them to be strong, pure Christians 
among the temptations and scepticisms of modern India. 
Our policy at present, therefore, aims at the gradual 
modification of our methods of work so as to make the 
institution above all things effective in training Christians. 
We have been always eager to have the staff as far as 
possible composed of Christians. We now aim at a 
completely Christian staff, as necessary for a Christian 
institution. But it is by no means easy to obtain a sufficient 
number of efficient Christian teachers and professors. 
The demand for such men is everywhere very great : the 
educated men of the Christian community are wanted to 
be preachers and missionaries, and to superintend country 
schools, as well as to teach in the institution ; while the 
lucrative posts obtainable under Government, and the 
prizes of the legal profession, attract many promising young 
men. Yet we look forward with hope.' 

Here are two recent examples of direct result in the 
wa)' of conversion : — 

' The dux of the matriculation class in the institution 

i86 NORTH INDIA : 1S25-1805 

had long been an inquirer, and he was brought to decision 
in February, 1894. Mr. Farquhar and Mr. Wilder both 
felt that he was ripe for baptism, but his decision to return 
home immediately on receiving the rite made the mission- 
aries hesitate; yet when they saw the earnestness of his 
faith, and the many tokens of the work of the Spirit on 
his heart, their hesitation was removed. Then his trials 
began, and he was removed hundreds of miles away, to the 
great regret of all, for he had secured a large place in the 
affections and esteem of many. Severe persecution followed, 
such as seldom falls to the lot of young men in this land, 
but, from what has since been heard, it is believed that 
special help and strength have been given him, and in the 
midst of all he continues faithful to his Lord. At one 
time everything, including his Bible, was taken from him, 
but now he has Christian fellowship, and brighter days 
may yet be before him. 

' Babu Ramkrishna Lahiri had been with us for some 
time, and was anxious to have his wife and child with him, 
but his efforts failed ; yet he had faith that she would 
come in time. Feeling that further delay on his own part 
was wrong, he took the important step. In his public 
statement he says that the truth was implanted in his 
heart while he was a pupil in the institution. His father's 
death compelled him to enter on life's responsibilities 
before his education was finished. He acknowledges that 
he was frequently led into evil ways, but the school 
impressions never passed away. It was a severe illness 
which led him to look more seriously to Jesus and to 
determine to be true to his convictions. Thus seed, early 
sown, at last bore fruit. Not very long after his baptism, 
his prayers were heard and his wife came away from the 
Hindu home and the patrimonial estate. At the husband's 
request she was received into the Converts' Home, and, 
after due instruction, she and her child were baptized in 
the Bhowanipore Church.' 

Side by side with the Bhowanipore Institution the native 
Christian church there has extended its influence. By the 

THE CALCUTTA STAFF, 1867-1S95 187 

year 1861 it had so developed as to be able to choose 
its own native pastor, the Rev. Surju Kumar Ghose, and 
to find 9C0 rupees, then about ;^8o per annum, towards the 
expenses of the church. In 1868 Mr. Ghose became 
Bengali editor for the Calcutta Tract and Book Society, 
and the church, of which he still continued pastor, became 
entirely self-supporting. In j 867 the native Christians 
built a new church, finding the bulk of the needful money 

William Johnson, B.A., arrived in Calcutta in February, 
1859, ^"cl was for more than thirty years connected with 
the Bhowanipore Institution, and with the theological 
class of native Christians at Bhowanipore. In 1861 he 
took charge of the native churches at Ramakhalchoke 
and Gangrai ; and in 1867 of the Cooly Bazaar Church. 
From 1867 to 1869 he was in England; but in 1870 he 
returned to his work at Bhowanipore and Cooly Bazaar. 
With the usual furloughs he continued his work in Calcutta 
until 1889, and he retired from the Society's service in 
1891. J. E. Payne reached Calcutta in December, i860, 
and for the next twenty-five years was occupied in the 
varied work of the mission. Teaching, examining, writing 
articles and books, acting as pastor now of Cooly 
Bazaar, now of Hastings Chapel, and now of Union Chapel, 
he used to say of himself, 'As for me, I'm Jack of all 
trades.' He was deeply interested in the welfare of the 
native church in Calcutta, and gave much of his time 
and strength to this department. He died at Calcutta, 
August 30, 1886. 

In 1867 the new members of the Calcutta staff were 
J. P. Ashton, M.A., John Naylor, B.A., T. E. Slater, and 
W. J. Wilkins. Mr. Ashton came from Madras to Cal- 
cutta in 1866, first as a temporary measure, but continued 
there the remaining twenty-nine years of the century. 
Mr. Slater was at Calcutta from 1866 to 1870, when his 
wife's illness took him to England, and in 187 1 he re- 
turned, but to Madras. Mr. Naylor was at Calcutta from 
1866 to 1875, and his health failing he resigned in 1877. 

l88 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

W. J. Wilkins was connected in various capacities with the 
Calcutta Mission from i(S66 to 1884. 

All the departments of service were vigorously super- 
intended. Of the Bhowanipore Institution we read : 
'Though missionary colleges have not given numerous 
converts they have produced a deep impression on native 
society. So far as the native Church has influence 
in this great city it has been mainly obtained through 
our educated converts.' Of vernacular work Mr. Wilkins 
writes : ' Preaching to the masses in Calcutta is very 
unsatisfactory. The people listen for a few moments at 
long intervals ; and when we say anything which offends 
their prejudices, or appears to them to be Quixotic in 
goodness, they walk away to revel in vices allowed by their 
religion. That a missionary loves the heathen, and is 
really interested in them, they cannot understand. And 
instead of thanks he often receives only ridicule.' 

In 1880 the only new name is J. F. Taylor, B.A., and 
for the first time the names of lady missionaries appear 
upon the decennial list — Miss Howard, Miss McMicking, 
and Miss Linley. A very important forward step was 
taken, during this decade, in recognizing the importance of 
female missionary agency, and in utilizing its great and 
varied powers. Mr. Taylor was at Calcutta from 1879 to 
1885, when he removed to Almora. Miss Heward was at 
Calcutta from 1876 to 1881 ; Miss McMicking from 1878 
to 1882; and Miss Linley from 1878 to 1895. 

The staff in 1891 consisted of six male and three female 
missionaries, with five native pastors and missionaries. 
The new names are W. B. Phillips, A. P. Begg, B.A., 
W. R. Le Ouesne, 1\ F. Longman, and J. N. Farquhar, 
M.A., with Miss Fletcher and Miss L. J. Robinson. The 
native pastors were T. K. Chatterjea, T. P. Chattcrjea, 
Ishan C. Das, N. L. Doss, and S. C. Ghose. The Decennial 
Review then issued gives a hopeful and encouraging picture 
of the manifold missionary life and work in the capital of 
India at the close of the century : — 

' Steady advance in every department might be given as 


the record of the Calcutta Mission for the last ten years. 
The advance has not been such as to satisfy the aspirations 
of the workers, but it has been tangible and real, and 
withal so considerable as to call for much thankfulness. 

' In 1884-5 the B.x'\. classes in Bhowanipore College 
were resumed, and since that period twenty-six young 
Bengalis have passed the B.A. examination. The results 
in the Matriculation and First Arts Examinations have 
been much in excess of those of the preceding decade. 
The pressing importance of making special provision for 
the education of the sons of Christian converts has been 
increasingly felt. At the commencement of the decade 
arrangements had recently been made by which two boys 
were boarded at Kaurapukur, under the care of the native 
evangelist. The number was afterwards increased to 
sixteen. Now the Directors have provided for the com- 
mencement of a boarding department in connection with 
the Bhowanipore College, by which twenty to twenty-five 
boys will be accommodated. In this way an opportunity 
will be given for some of the more promising lads in the 
villages receiving a thorough and liberal education. The 
fruit of the earlier provision at Kaurapukur is showing 
itself in a small class of the theological students and young 

'The native Christian Church in Calcutta and in the rural 
districts is growing slowly but steadily. The congregation 
in Bhowanipore has passed through a time of trouble, which 
weakened it considerably, some influential members leaving 
its communion. Yet, when the trouble passed, it began to 
grow again, and has ended the decade with a membership 
of 123, being an increase of upwards of 50 per cent. 

'"In 1884 the Rev. T. P. Chatterjea commenced a new 
church in Mirzapur Lane, which has been called the London 
Missionary Society's Calcutta Church. The membership 
has risen from eight to thirty-five, and the congregation 
numbered eighty-nine in 1889. Mr. Chatterjea has had 
many encouragements in his v/ork. Some of his people 
are Nepaulese who have settled in Calcutta. In 1888 

igo NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

another small church was commenced for the especial 
benefit of some of the female teachers of the American 
Zenana Home and of the pupils of the American Union 
School for Bengali Girls. This congregation meets in the 
school-room of Union Chapel. The number of members 
is twenty-one. Not far from these churches is the Bow- 
bazaar Wayside preaching hall, where the Gospel has been 
regularly proclaimed for many years." 

'In 1883 ^ ^^^^ out-station or rural mission was commenced 
at Goburdanga, and Baboo Ishan Chunder Das appointed 
as the resident evangelist. For about three years he lived 
in a hired house. Ground has since been secured, and 
a small bungalow erected in native style, and a little 
sitting-room and bedroom set apart for those who visit the 
station from time to time, the remaining room being occupied 
by the catechist. 

' The progress in female mission-work has been re- 
markable. It was in its infancy as a distinct branch when 
the decade commenced, and the prejudice against any 
attempt either to educate the girls or to instruct the women 
in the zenanas was strong and general. A great change 
has come over native opinion since then. Though there 
are still a large number who will not admit the agents of 
missionary societies to visit their houses, and others who 
still maintain the old prejudice against the education of 
women, the number is decreasing year by year. 

' The number of girls' schools in the mission is fifteen, 
and the number of houses visited for instruction and Bible 
teaching has been 105, and for Bible teaching alone about 
two or three thousand. The growth of this l:ist part of the 
work has been marvellous during the last ten years. Miss 
Reward commenced this form of work, and visited about 
eleven houses a month for Scripture teaching only. Miss 
Linley has developed this branch of labour by securing the 
services of older women, who can be trusted to go by 
tliemselves. In this way thousands of houses, belonging to 
rich as well as poor, to Brahman and Sudra, Hindu and 
Mahometan have been visited. The zeal and consecra- 


tion of the women have grown, and their work is done in 
faith and prayer. The truth is already influencing the 
Hves of some, and one at least is a firm believer in Christ. 

' For the purpose of providing accommodation for female 
missionary workers a zenana house was built in 1882. The 
end of the decade has seen the commencement of an 
Industrial Home for Christian Women, which, though only 
commenced in 1889, has already proved a means of sub- 
stantial help to a considerable number of women as well as 
a means of training them for useful Christian service. 

' Ten years ago there was not a single Bible-woman at 
work in connection with the mission ; now there is a large 
staff of them, and they are proving increasingly efficient. 
Bible work among the women of the village stations has 
also been begun of late years, and has increased in a most 
encouraging way. During the past year some interesting 
tours have been made by the Bible-women, in parties, and 
with most encouraging results. 

' In the month of March last year Babus Ishan Chandra 
Das and Sarat Chandra Ghose were ordained to the ministry 
of the Gospel in Bhowanipore Congregational Church. 
Mr. Das has charge of the Baduria out-station, with its 
small church and the higher-class English school, as well as 
its evangelistic work and vernacular schools for boys and 
girls. Mr. Ghose is the superintendent of the village 
church at Kaurapukur, Gangrai, Ramakhalchoke, and 
other villages to the south, and in the Sunderbuns. 

* In the same month the Law Memorial Preaching Hall, 
erected by the generous help of the Rev. William Law, of 
Tasmania, was opened. The building is situated at a point 
where four important roads meet, so that it is admirably 
placed for evangelistic purposes. It is used every evening 
for preaching in English, Bengali, and Hindi, and has been 
a valuable means for extending evangelistic work in 
connection with the college. 

' A large amount of effort has been expended on tract 
distribution and in open-air preaching for a long time past, 
and this branch of the work has been maintained throughout 

192 NORTH INDIA : 1S25-1S95 

the past year with great zeal. A commencement has also 
been made in a new form of work, which promises large 
opportunities of meeting with young men. Mr. Longman 
writes : " There is a great work to be done in Calcutta 
amongst the students who come here from all parts of 
Bengal to attend the different colleges. Most of them 
reside in the city proper, in the neighbourhood of the 
larger colleges. Here they live together in ' chummeries ' 
or boarding-houses, forty, fifty, and sometimes more in one 
house. They are of course a most important class, as they 
must necessarily exercise considerable influence for good 
or evil in time to come upon the thoughts and opinions of 
their fellow countrymen. Here in Calcutta, at all events, 
the time of one missionary might well be devoted entirely 
to evangelistic work amongst them. I have at their own 
invitation visited some of them whose homes are in 
Bhowanipore, in order to study the Bible and to discuss 
religious questions. There are a few also who have been 
in the habit of coming to my house more or less regularly 
for the same purpose." ' 

The Report for 1H95 briefly summarizes the general 
progress in the Calcutta Mission since the Jubilee Year: — 

' Fifty years ago there were seven European missionaries 
in Calcutta, all men, one of them pastor of the Union 
Church, and they had six native workers associated with 
them. There were three small native churches at Krisna- 
pore, Ramakhalchoke, and Gangrai, and the Bengali 
Church at Bhowanipore had been formed in the previous 
year with fourteen members, all of whom were either agents 
of the mission, or their wives, or theological students under 
training. Work among heathen women and schools for 
heathen girls find no mention in the report. The number 
of boys' schools connected with the mission was twelve, 
with 666 scholars. To-day the number of male European 
missionaries is only eight, of whom two have charge of 
English churches. But in every other respect there has 
been a very great advance. Five ordained native ministers 
and thirteen catechists are now in the service of the mission. 


The Bhovvanipore Church has a membership of 133, while 
the total membership of the churches connected with the 
mission is 474. The work in the south villages, which 
constituted the chief field of rural evangelization, and which 
was then confined to Ramakhalchoke and Gangrai, has 
developed in many directions. The Bhowanipore Institution 
and other schools for boys contain 2,09(S scholai-s ; and 
work among heathen women has become so important 
a part of the mission operations that there are now four 
European lady missionaries on the Society's staff and two 
others maintained by the Bengal auxiliary. These ladies 
are assisted by thirty-eight Bible-women and zenana 
teachers. They have 855 girls under their care, and are 
in constant communication wath a large number of heathen 

2. Berhampur. In March, 1824, Mr. Micaiah Hill, who 
had been working in Calcutta for two years, opened a new 
station at Berhampur, situated about 120 miles to the 
north of Calcutta. The idea was that if a footing could 
be established here the work might be extended to the 
neighbouring town Murshidabad. Mr. and Mrs. Hill soon 
established seven schools, four for Hindus, two for Muham- 
madans, and one, conducted by Mrs. Hill, for girls. The 
Report for 1827 states that the six boys' schools had 280 
pupils, and that a second girls' school had been opened, 
the two containing forty pupils. Mr. Hill had also estab- 
lished three native chapels, and three preaching stations. 
Mr. Gogerly spent some months at Berhampur in 1827, 
and in January, 1829, a large new chapel was opened. The 
mission was strengthened in July, 1832, by the arrival of 
Mr. James Paterson, who, together with an assistant named 
Thomas Cussons, preached frequently in Murshidabad. 
The tendency in all these early missions to begin more 
work than could be thoroughly done is illustrated by the 
fact that in 1837 we read: 'The schools are in rather 
a depressed state ; partly from want of suitably qualified 
teachers, and partly from insufficient funds.' 
II. O 

194 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

This mission well illustrates the great difficulties in the 
face of which all extensions of mission-work had to be 
undertaken in India prior to 1H50. Mr, Hill in his report 
for 1H37 writes: — 

' When I first entered the country, the jealousy of the 
Government towards missionaries was great. A missionary 
could not leave Calcutta without special licence from the 
Government, and I had to solicit, personally, from the chief 
secretary, permission to live at Berhampur. I was not 
allowed to land my goods until the licence had been 
examined. Then I found myself a stranger in a strange 
land ; without a friend to advise, or a Christian to offer 
sympathy. The natives misrepresented my conduct to 
the civil and military authorities, and my own countrymen 
were hostile to me ; both opposed my schools. Our 
mission does not occupy a foot of ground the possession 
of which has not been litigated. Letters and petitions 
were poured in at different times to the collectors of 
revenue and customs, the magistrates and the judges of 
appeal, the barrack-master, the brigadier, the supreme 
court in Calcutta, and, finally, to the Governor-General in 
Council. In these circumstances, the Lord preserved me 
on the one hand from despair, and on the other from 
imprudence; so that my judges had no cause for censure, 
and the Government no reason to withdraw my licence. 
By the grace of God, things are now otherwise. The 
Mofussil chaplain, our local friends, and our brethren at 
Benares, testify to the salutary influence of the mission 
among Europeans. Brother Paterson bears similar testi- 
mony to its influence among the natives. 

' As time moved on, my prayers and anxieties increased 
in proportion as my efforts appeared unproductive among 
the natives. The feelings of a solitary missionary, sur- 
rounded by the deep midnight of moral death, and 
labouring for years without perceiving a ray of the light 
of truth piercing through the gross darkness of the people 
— these feelings must be experienced to be known. Often 
have I returned from preaching with the words of Isaiah 

BERHAMPUR IN 1838 195 

in my mouth, "Who hath believed our report?" From 
preaching I have turned to schools, and from schools to 
preaching ; then I divided my time between the two ; and 
afterwards engaged in visiting the natives in their houses, 
whenever I could obtain admission. Latterly I have given 
my greatest attention to preaching ; and, as the venerable 
Waugh in his parting address exhorted me, whether suc- 
cessful or not, I hope " to die, with my face towards the 
foe," feeling assured, that the preaching of the Cross is 
ordained by God for the conversion of the world. 

* For some years after my arrival at Berhampur, wher- 
ever I preached I was hooted and hissed ; my voice was 
drowned with the clapping of hands and shouts of " hurree 
bol ^ " ; and men have even followed me from preaching, 
with clubs to strike me. But things are now different. 
People are no longer afraid to ask for a tract, nor try to 
conceal it under their clothes to prevent the Brahmans 
from tearing it in pieces. The Brahmans themselves are 
as eager for tracts and Gospels as the other castes, and 
plead that they are Brahmans as a reason for showing them 
a preference. We now obtain congregations wherever and 
whenever we wish. In all principal thoroughfares, cross- 
ways, and markets, we never wait five minutes until a 
congregation assembles.' 

An orphan asylum was established, and it is curious now 
to read, as we can in the Report for 1838, 'To aid this 
benevolent institution, Mr. Hill has made an extensive 
plantation of mulberry-trees. The silkworms are attended 
to by the orphan children, and the profits are expended 
in planting additional trees. Mr. Hill hopes in time the 
produce will yield a considerable income to the asylum.' 
It is significant also to read in the same Report (1838) — ' Our 
brethren have deemed it right to discontinue all schools 
conducted by heathen masters : as, from long experience 
and observation, they have come to the conclusion that, in 
a missionary point of view, such schools are not worth the 

* Bol is a Hindustani word, meaning 'say,' and /it(rree = Vishnu, the phrase 
being a fanatical religious cry constantly used by the Vislinuites of Bengal. 

O 3 

196 NORTH INDIA : 182r,-lS93 

time and money spent upon them, so long as Christian 
masters and conscientious men cannot be obtained.' 

In 1838 Mr. Hill, after seventeen years' labour, visited 
England, his place, meanwhile, being supplied by Mr. T. L. 
Lessel. Mr. Hill returned in 1842. and the two worked on 
steadily for several years ; but in January, 1847, Mr. Hill 
left to take the place of Dr. Boaz at Union Chapel, Calcutta. 
In the same year Mr. Paterson returned to England, and in 
18,52 Mr. Lessel returned to England. 

In February, 1849, Mr. Micaiah Hill died, and in July, 
1849, James Bradbury reached Berhampur. In November, 
1853, he was joined by Samuel J. Hill, the son of Micaiah 
Hill, vvho had been born at Berhampur December, 1825. 
Mr, Bradbury continued at work until 1870, when he 
returned to England. Mr, Hill, with the exception of 1858 
to 1864, carried on his life work at Berhampur, and died 
there in January, 1891, George Shrewsbury was at the 
station from 1861 to 1865, when his health failed. Mr. 
W. B. Phillips joined the mission in December, 1875. 

The Deputation which visited India in ] 883 urged the 
Directors to strengthen the Berhampur Mission. Mr. A. P. 
Begg was appointed in 1884, but in 1886 was removed to 
Calcutta. A new departure, however, was made by the 
establishment of a female mission, and the appointment of 
two lady missionaries, Miss Blomfield and Miss Robinson. 
The work done in the closing years of the century is out- 
lined in a full report by Mr. Phillips, the senior missionary, 
in 1890 : — 

' During the decade the recommencement of itinerancy 
and the enlargement of work among the female population 
have been the prominent features. In 1879, after years of 
abeyance, itinerancy was entered upon by means of a 
borrowed boat. In the next year, by private subscriptions, 
the present mission-boat was built. From that time the 
work has gone on steadily during a fortnight of each of 
the ten best months in the year, and during the intervals 
there has been constant preaching in Berhampur itself 
Thus the past ten years has witnessed a large amount 


of preaching-, tract distributing, and selling of Scripture 
portions. The area visited, with few exceptions, has com- 
prised the towns and villages along seventy miles of the 

' With our present small staff, we do not attempt to 
itinerate over the whole 2,462 square miles of this Murshi- 
dabad area. We continue to confine ourselves almost 
entirely to the towns and villages on the banks of the 
Bhagirothi, a mouth of the Ganges, which winds its way 
some seventy miles through our district- During each of 
nine months of the past year a fortnight has been given to 
itinerating. The truth has thus been repeatedly set before 
the same people ; many of them have come to look upon us 
as friends ; the spirit of thoughtful hearing has been greatly 
deepened ; and some have even seemed to be brought 
very near decision ; but thus far the people hold aloof from 

From 1879 till 1^)83 the Orphanage remained in the 
hands of Mrs. Phillips, and some efforts were made to visit 
zenanas. But in 1883 Miss Blomfield arrived and began 
rapidly to develop female work. In a short time she was 
joined by Miss Robinson, and since then this work has 
been growing in vigour and importance. For upwards of 
six years, through the establishment of girls' schools, and 
the visitation of zenanas, hundreds of girls and women have 
been reached and brought under Christian influences. In 
this way, during the past decade, we may consider that the 
value of the Church's mission to Murshidabad has been 
very greatly increased. 

' But new spheres of effort have not interfered with nor 
lessened the value of previously existing institutions. The 
Anglo-vernacular school has continued its important career. 
The number of scholars has not varied very greatly. The 
decade began with 222, and ended with 233 on the rolls. 
The influence of the school upon the moral character and 
religious belief of the young is very marked. And, as these 
young ones come from all parts of the district, society is 
getting more and more ready to welcome the future 

198 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1S95 

preachers, who shall have their way opened to a wider 
itinerancy. The convert from the school, who began the 
decade as an undergraduate, and a resident elsewhere, has 
developed into an M.A. of the University, the head master 
of our Khagra School, and the accepted and trusted agent 
of the Society. Another convert was baptized in Burmah, 
and other pupils have shown evidence of being greatly 
influenced by the teachings of Christ. 

' The native Christian church increased in membership 
by nine, irrespective of deaths and removals. The com- 
munity as a whole, however, decreased from 137 to 117. 
As the main body came to us originally from the nominal 
Christians of Nuddea, and not as converts from heathenism, 
they can hardly be expected to grow much until baptisms 
from outside swell their numbers. 

' The English services on Sunday evening have had a 
steady and useful career. Within the last year or two 
a good number of English-speaking Hindus have been 
attending our services. This most satisfactory develop- 
ment is likely to continue and increase. 

'The death of the Rev. S. J. Hill, shortly after the year 
closed, removed from the circle of Christian workers in 
North India one of its ablest and most beloved and 
honoured members. Since the death of Mr. Hill, the 
Rev. W. B. Phillips has been transferred to Calcutta, to the 
pastorate of Union Chapel, and the Rev. W. G. Brockway, 
B.A., has been removed from work in Calcutta to take 
charge of the mission in Berhampur. Instead of having an 
increased staff of three missionaries, the new decade opens 
with only one.' 

Between i(S90 and 1895 the mission was further 
strengthened, and in 1895 the staff was — Andrew Sims 
and J. A. Joyce; Miss Robinson, Miss M. N. Tuck, Miss 
Cockerton, and Miss Nicholas, M.D, There were also 
three native pastors, K. P. Mukerjee (Berhampur), Paul 
Biswas (Jiaganj), and S. C Ghose (Murshidabad). The 
plan which has been put into execution contemplated the 
strengthening of the old Berhampur Mission and the per- 


manent occupation of Murshidabad, Jiaganj, and Jeypur. 
It was also intended greatly to strengthen the work of 
itineration over the whole region. 

3. Benares. Benares, one of the chief seats of Hinduism, 
and in a special sense its holy and sacred city, stretches 
for three miles along the Ganges, and contains about 220,000 
people. At the religious festivals this number is immensely 
increased by devotees who come from all parts of India. 
Pilgrims gladly journey a thousand miles, barefooted, to 
enjoy the sight, and to receive the supposed religious 
benefits resulting from a visit to so sacred a shrine. 
Benares is full of idols and of temples, and contains 
no less than 25,000 Brahmans. The verdict of its priests 
on all matters of religion, of its pandits on all questions 
of philosophy, and of its jurists on all points of law is to 
the orthodox Hindu the final word. The affection of the 
Jew for Jerusalem is akin to the feeling which this city 
stirs in the Hindu. It is sacred in all its parts, but to 
some spots peculiar sanctity attaches. The well Mani- 
karnika, a shallow pool usually filled with fetid water, 
cleanses from those who bathe in it the sins of a lifetime. 
Benares was the cradle of Buddhism ; and to-day it exerts 
one of the most powerful influences which bind millions 
of Hindus to their debasing gods, and to their degrading 
superstitions. No city in India could present a less 
promising field for Christian missions, and yet no city 
has greater need of them. The comparative barrenness 
of the field during the first century should only stimulate 
the Church to greater efforts during the second. 

In this city of pride, power, idolatry, and superstitious 
reverence Mr. James Robertson joined Mr. Adams in 
December, 1826. Preaching to the natives and school 
work were actively carried forward. But from the first 
it was felt that the printed page would be one of the most 
effective weapons for the overthrow of Hinduism in this, 
its ancient and most strongly fortified citadel. Both 
missionaries gave themselves to the preparation of Christian 

200 NORTH INDIA : 1S25-1895 

books; and as early as i(S28 'The Benares and Chunar 
Tract Association, in aid of the London Religious Tract 
Society ' was formed, and we read that it at once obtained 
'a grant of paper and English tracts from the Religious 
Tract Society, London.' In 1829 Mr. Adams severed his 
connection with the mission. Mr. Robertson, left alone, 
carried forward the work with great energy, and in 1830, 
in collaboration with Mr. Crawford, chaplain at Allahabad, 
he translated a large part of the Old Testament into Urdu. 
In January, 1832, he was joined by William Buyers; and, 
greatly encouraged by his new colleague, was looking 
forward to years of useful service, when in June, 1833, his 
course was suddenly closed by death. The mission was 
again reinforced by the arrival in February. 1834, of J. A. 
Shurman, and in September of R. C. Mather. Mr. Buyers 
and Mr. Shurman gave themselves to the production of 
'a new Urdu translation of the New Testament in a style 
suited to the lower orders of the people.' 

As their experience of Benares and its people developed, 
the missionaries realized more and more, on the one hand, 
the vast importance of Benares as a centre of Christian 
work, and on the other the hopeless character of the under- 
taking, save through the working and power of the Divine 
Spirit. In 1837, that is, after the mission had been established 
in the city for seventeen years, Mr. Buyers wrote home : — 

' Benares is such an awful sink of iniquity and superstition, 
that nothing but a firm belief in the invincible power of the 
truth, and the faithfulness of the Divine promises, could 
lead me to hope for its conversion at all. I am, therefore, 
far from underrating the little that has been done. Three 
years ago Mrs. Buyers and myself were here alone, having 
no one, either European or native, to sit down with us at 
the Lord's table ; but now, our little Hindustani church has 
eighteen communicants, and about as many baptized persons 
of both sexes who are not communicants. Little of a 
decided nature appears, but Christianity has obtained 
a positive local existence in the midst of the densest mass 
of idolatry on the face of the earth ; and I now expect the 

BENARES IN 1838 201 

work to go on more rapidly. Our position is entirely 
dififerent from what it was. We can speak the language 
with ease, and have /jealous native assistants. The truth 
is diffused, and doubts and convictions have been produced 
in the minds of many of the heathen ; a translation of the 
New Testament has been finished in the plainest and most 
simple dialect of the country. A church has been formed, 
exhibiting publicly all the ordinances of the Gospel in the 
language and in the view of the heathen. In short, a founda- 
tion has now been laid, and a few more years of persevering, 
prayerful labour will be the means of giving to Christianity 
in this city a solidity which will enable it to sustain trials, 
and to expand of itself.' 

Literature was steadily kept to the front by the successive 
missionaries. In i(S38 Mr, Mather began the issue of a 
periodical called The Friend of India, designed to meet 
the needs of native Christians. Living day by day in the 
presence of such bitter and bigoted Hindus, and surrounded 
by all the pomp and power of the heart of Hinduism, the 
lonely workers naturally urged upon the home authorities 
the need of reinforcements if any impression was to be 
made upon the surrounding mass of heathenism. 

In response to their urgent representation of the needs 
of Benares Mr. Lyon and Mr. James Kennedy in i<S3(S were 
added to the staff. Ill health prevented the former from 
remaining more than a year, but the latter, who reached 
Benares in March, 1839, was enabled to give many years 
of diligent labour. Mr. Mather in May, 1838, had removed 
to Mirzapur. Preaching was ever regarded as the chief 
work of the mission, and opportunities of setting forth the 
Gospel were sought and used, in season and out of season ; 
but the seed of the Word here fell upon the very stony 
ground of superstitious, prejudiced, proud, and darkened 
hearts. ' We look in vain,' the missionaries wrote in J 845, 
' for deep impressions of guilt, and an intense desire for sal- 
vation. The gross pantheism of the Hindu, and the almost 
equally gross fatalism of the Mussulman, have exerted 
a fearful influence over their minds, in obliteratingr the 

202 NORTH INDIA : lS25-18!)r> 

feelings to which the Word of God addresses itself. This 
moral insensibility is the mountain before which we feel 
ourselves helpless ; shut up to the one course of imploring 
the aid of the Holy Spirit, who alone can rouse the torpid 
conscience, and give life to the disordered soul.' 

In 1845 Mr. Buyers' health failed, and in 1846, the 
Directors judging it unwise to send him out again, he 
returned to Benares at his own expense and continued 
mission-work. In March, 1850, he was re-engaged by the 
Society, and continued constant in the service until 1863, 
when he resigned, thirty years after his first arriv^al at 
Benares. He died near Allahabad, October 4J 1865. 

In 1853 M. A. Sherring reached Benares. He took 
charge of the Central School, aided by Mr. Brovvnlow, 
the chief English teacher. English, Urdu, and Hindi 
were the languages in daily use, while Persian was also 
taught. Mr. Sherring devoted himself to vernacular 
work. He married in 1854 a daughter of Mr. Mather, 
of Mirzapur. From November, 1856, to February, i86i, 
Mr. Sherring was in charge of Mirzapur during Mr. 
Mather's absence. Returning to Benares he took charge 
again of the Central School, and engaged in bazaar preach- 
ing, and the work of itineration. From 1866 to 1869 he 
was in England, and with occasional absences he continued 
at Benares until his death there on August 10, 1880. 
Mr. Sherring was a man of considerable literary ability, 
and his books are contributions of great value to missionary 
literature. The chief are T/ie Indian Church diirimr the 
Rebellion (1859); The Sacred City of the Hindus (1868); 
The Tribes and Castes of India as represented in Benares 
(1872 and 1879); and The History of Protestant Missions in 
India (1875). The last was revised and brought up to date 
in 1884 by the Rev. E. Storrow, and republished by the 
Religious Tract Society, and is still the best short history 
of Christian Missions in India. 

By this time the experience of thirty years should have 
enabled the workers on the spot, and the Directors at 
home, to have mastered or to have well begun to master 


the problems Benares presented. But progress during the 
thirty years, from 1H55 to 1H85, is hardly discernible. 
Results that could be tabulated were almost non-existent ; 
indirect results there may have been, and doubtless were, 
but they were present chiefly to the eye of faith. It is 
not impossible that the natural desire for an ever widening 
field of missionary operation led the Society to starve the 
work in Benares. Again and again has the century wit- 
nessed the opening of new stations when, in the light of 
the century's experience, the path of wisdom would have 
been the strengthening of missions like that in Benares. 
In 1H85 the Report states: 'Benares is a peculiarly hard 
and unprofitable field for Christian work. Though several 
societies are labouring here, the apparent impression made 
upon the crowds who congregate in the sacred city is very 
slight. The members of the Society's mission have been 
chiefly occupied in educational work.' These words might 
fitly describe much of the seventy-five years' history of the 
mission. Again and again the question of abandoning 
Benares for more promising fields of labour has been 
mooted ; and again and again Christian conscience, faith, 
zeal, and loyalty to Jesus Christ, who said, ' Go ye and 
disciple all the nations/ have warded off so unworthy 
a decision. It may be that in allowing His work to be so 
seemingly fruitless in such a barren field as Benares, the 
Lord of the Church is, among other lessons, teaching His 
servants to study their methods, to betake themselves to 
prayer, to strengthen the things which remain, and to con- 
centrate their energy and executive skill and self-sacrificing 
toil upon the fields so long tilled in vain, in the full con- 
viction that at the last they shall reap if they faint not. 

In addition to their work in the great city the Benares 
missionaries made regular tours during the cooler season 
throughout the great district which surrounds the heathen 
metropolis. These tours had been the means of con- 
veying the truth to many thousands of the neglected, 
despised peasantry, but it was long felt that effective work 
could only be carried on from a fixed centre at a distance 

204 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

from the city. This centre was found at Mangari, twelve 
miles to the north-west of Benares, where a small bungalow 
was purchased in 1H75. A resident missionary could not 
be spared, but round this station work was carried on and 
schools opened by native workers under the superintendence 
successively of J. A. Lambert, G. M. Bulloch, T. Insell, 
and A. Parker till 1H93, when the first resident missionary, 
H. H. Theobald, took up his abode there and commenced 
regular and steady work. Mr. Theobald had spent a year 
in Benares, and so commenced work with a little experience 
and some knowledge of the vernacular. In 1894 he was 
joined by his sister, Miss R. M. Theobald, and the two are 
still (1898) carrying on their work with vigour and enter- 
prise. Native Christian preachers with their wives have 
been settled in four neighbouring villages. Schools for 
boys and girls have been opened. Zenana work has been 
regularly taken in hand, and an effective system of regular 
evangelistic tours adopted. This new departure looks 
towards a real and much-needed development of the work 
at Benares, for it cannot but result in a sapping of the 
extreme veneration and superstitious regard with which the 
city is held by the ignorant peasantry. Benares district 
contains, in addition to the city population, 750,000 in- 
habitants, so that there is great room for an extension of 
this branch of work. 

In 1 86 1 Mr. John Hewlett joined the mission, and in 
1865 David Hutton. Both gave many years of service to 
North India. Mr. Hewlett was at Benares from February, 
1862, to March, 1863; November, i866,*to December, 
1868; 1881 to 1888; 1890 to 1892. He died at Benares, 
February 21, 1892. Mr. Hutton was engaged in the 
Benares Mission, 1866 to 1874; 1876 to 187CS ; and during 
Mr. Hewlett's last furlough. 1888 to 1890. The other 
workers here were — J. A. Lambert, 1866 to 1868 and 1874 
to 1882 ; and G. M. Bulloch, who reached Benares in 1874, 
and was there until 1884. 

The staff in 1891 consisted of two male and two female 
missionaries: J. Hewlett, M.A., and Arthur Parker; Miss 


Harris and Miss Gill; and one ordained native missionary, 
Kashi Nath Dutt. After the death of Mr. Hewlett in 
i(S92, Mr. Arthur Parker was alone in Benares all the 
remainder of that year. Mr. Theobald arrived in December, 
1892, and at the end of 1H93 went to Mangari. In 1893 
\Y. Cutting arrived, and took up work in the High School 
in August, 1894. So that for two years and a half Benares 
had only one effective missionary, Mr. Parker, who could 
use the vernacular. 

In 1892 the college department of the institution was 
abolished, and it has since been only a high school, teach- 
ing up to the matriculation standard. For years past this 
school has been one of the strongest and most successful 
features of the work. The Rev. John Hewlett, M.A., 
was principal, assisted by a large and able staff of native 
professors and teachers. The educational results, as shown 
by the Government Grants in aid, and by the number who 
have passed various university examinations, have been 
maintained at a high average. The institution is evidently 
much appreciated as an educational centre, and every 
possible effort has been made to maintain the missionary 
character of the college. The Christian Scriptures have 
been regularly taught to the various classes by Mr. Hewlett, 
assisted by some competent native Christian colleagues. 

The native church in Benares is very small in numbers, 
and has consisted hitherto almost exclusively of persons in 
the employ of the missionaries and their families. The 
prejudice against Christianity in the city is so strong, that 
those who from time to time have come under the power of 
the Gospel have found it necessary to seek employment in 
Allahabad and other places, where they might be free to 
make a Christian profession. 

Efforts to reach the heathen population have been made 
in various ways. Mr. Hewlett from time to time was able 
to meet with eminent Hindu priests and teachers, to whom 
he has been permitted to state and explain the great lead- 
ing truths of the Gospel. Mr. Parker has devoted himself 
especially to evangelistic work. He writes : — 

2o6 NORTH INDIA: 1S25-1S95 

' Bazaar preaching was carried on during the hot season 
and rains, when weather permitted, by our two catechists, 
Babu Shivratan Lai and Babu Bandhu Masih, accompanied 
by myself as frequently as possible. In these services 
both in the city and the outlying villages, we have almost 
invariably been listened to attentively. When discussion 
has taken place, it has been conducted respectfully, and our 
tracts have been accepted with the obvious intention of 
reading them. Some of the conversations arising out of the 
preaching have been both interesting and instructive as 
giving glimpses into the mental and spiritual condition of 
our hearers. For the most part, we find our two greatest 
obstacles to be the imperfect idea of the nature of sin found 
amongst Hindus, and the utter absence of any true 
spirituality, observable in Hindus and Mussulmans alike. 
A Hindu who cannot be induced to regard sin as a wilful 
offence against a Holy Person finds no attraction in, as he 
feels no need for, the sacrifice of Calvary, and quite fails 
to distinguish the peace of mind and exaltation of spirit 
consequent on the consciousness of union with Christ, from 
the mental passivity lauded and striven after by his Hindu 

In Benares, as elsewhere in India, female missions have 
made remarkable progress during the closing years of the 
century. Mrs. Hewlett, with her two assistants, Miss Elloy 
and Miss Johannes, for some years carried on very varied 
and valuable work. Reviewing her work in Benares in 
1890, Mrs. Hewlett wrote: — 

' Since my first arrival in Benares, more than ten years 
ago, steady progress has very manifestly been made in the 
education of the women and girls. Formerly it was difficult 
to induce Hindu girls, especially the poorer ones, to attend 
our schools, without the offer of a monthly reward in the 
shape of a small piece of mone}'. Now we have a much 
larger attendance without such an inducement. We only 
give rewards in the shape of fruit or sweetmeats and a san, 
or cheap calico shawl, annually for regular attendance. 
Whenever I visit the schools, I am always pleased with the 


progress the children have made in their lessons. They can 
repeat many verses in the Bible by heart, and can also sing 
bhajajis, or hymns, very nicely. Some of the older gu'ls 
can reply very creditably to questions in geography and 
history. The intelligent and ready replies they give to 
Scripture questions put to them lead us to hope that the 
Spirit of God is working in their young hearts, and that 
they are carrying some beams of the light of the glorious 
Gospel into their dark homes. 

' During recent years, zenana visitation has been greatly 
developed in Benares, partly through the influence of educa- 
tion upon the students of our colleges and schools, as 
many who feel the benefits of knowledge are anxious that 
their wives and daughters should enjoy the same advantages. 
About one hundred houses are visited regularly by our 
zenana teachers and ourselves, and the number would 
increase if more funds were forthcoming and suitable 
teachers could be obtained. Besides our regular pupils, 
there are many in the zenanas who will not learn to read, 
but who listen to Bible lessons. It is still difficult to 
obtain access to the houses of the upper classes of Hindu 
society in Benares to visit the ladies, though I often go 
with my husband to their houses to see their husbands and 
brothers. In this interesting work there are still many 
difficulties to encounter, the chief of which is the dread 
these ladies have of being seen by a man. In our zenana 
school all the windows and doors have to be closed, lest 
a man from outside should look in, which makes the room 
so dark that it is difficult to see to read.' 

Since 1862 a service for English residents has been 
regularly maintained, and has been the means of the 
conversion of both residents and soldiers. 

Notwithstanding all that has been accomplished, all that 
is being done, and all the faith, zeal, and labour bestowed 
upon this field by such competent and devoted workers as 
Buyers, Kennedy, Sherring, Hewlett, and others, it remains 
at the end of the century as at its beginning, bitter and 
unyielding in hostility to the Gospel. 

2o8 NORTH INDIA: 1S25-1S95 

' It is impossible,' writes Mr. Arthur Parker in his report 
for 1 S94, ' to convey an adequate idea of the continual and 
heavy cloud of discouragement under which a church such 
as ours lives and labours. Its members are cut off, very 
largely, from social intercourse with their neighbours ; they 
are engaged daily in an occupation which constantly brings 
them into conflict with the strongest prejudices of their 
fellow countrymen, and they have little conception, and no 
experience, of the triumphant power of Christ as exhibited 
in more favoured lands. Add to this the polluted moral 
atmosphere in which they live and work, and the enduring 
effect and force of evil habit and example from which they 
are still struggling to free themselves, and we shall not be 
surprised if the average standard of spiritual attainment is 
not so high as in countries where Christ has been longer 
knpwn. Yet there are among our members men and 
women whose loyalty to Christ and appreciation of the 
deep truths of the Christian faith give evidence of the 
presence and power of God's Spirit in their lives, and again 
and again circumstances have revealed in the lives of some 
of the humblest workers a self-denial and devotion all the 
more touching because unpretentious.' 

Mrs. Parker adds this testimony: — 

' There have been painful discouragements in this work 
during the year. We have had houses closed against us, 
and we have seen women, who once seemed anxious to 
witness to their faith in Christ, lapse back into the old life 
because they had not the courage to leave all for Him, and 
were too weak to bear the Cross in the zenana amongst 
their idolatrous relatives. But there are hopeful signs in 
the work, and one day the fruit will be forthcoming, for 
God's Word must accomplish that whereto He sent it. 
More than seventy years of faithful missionary toil in this 
city, and the spread of Christian literature, cannot have 
been without their effect upon the people. Some months 
ago the father of one of our pupils said to me: "Since 
your people came here a great change is come over us, 
for before then we were ignorant and thought it right 

BENARES IN 1S90 209 

to worship idols, but now there is a loosening from the old 
superstitions, and we are thinking for ourselves. The 
Brahmans have lost much of their ancient power over us, 
and many believe in Jesus, but are afraid to say so." ' 

Mr. Hewlett, in the Report for 1890, summed up carefully 
the position of the mission as it appeared to him after 
nearly thirty years' experience: — 

' We should rejoice exceedingly to be able to report 
numbers of conversions to Christ brought about by our 
instrumentality. But the time for our giving this blessed 
news has not yet come. The chief interest of our work at 
Benares hitherto has consisted in the evidence we have had 
of our contributing by diffusing Christian light throughout 
the city to the future awakening of India to rejoice in the 
day of her salvation. 

' The question is not unfrequently asked us, in one shape 
or another, whether, seeing that there have been hitherto so 
few conversions at Benares, it is worth our while to continue 
to spend our missionary strength in such an unproductive 
field of labour, and whether it would not be our wisdom 
to transfer our efforts to some more promising sphere of 
missionary influence. As we are going to press, we cannot 
but regret to learn that this question has received a practical 
reply, as far as the Baptist Missionary Society is concerned, 
by this Society's having decided to withdraw its mission, 
which had laboured longer than any of the other missions 
at Benares, dating as it does from 1817. It is indeed 
intelligible that the Baptist Missionary Society should 
take this step in the desire to concentrate its strength 
upon its more successful missions in other Indian stations, 
especially as Benares will not be left unoccupied by other 
Societies. Still it may be asked, Would the Baptist 
Society have been likely to withdraw from this station, 
if its mission had met with more success than it has had 
in baptizing converts? Thus the question we are consider- 
ing has a very important practical bearing. 

' It seems to me that there are strong reasons why the 
Christian Church should maintain a large missionary force 

II. P 

2IO NORTH INDIA : 1825-1895 

at Benares. While there is now happily a network of 
Christian missions spread over the length and breadth 
of this great Indian peninsula, it cannot but be of the 
utmost importance that there should be great missionary 
strength employed to Christianize this city of concentrated 
Hindu life. Let us rejoice at the adequate occupation 
of those parts of the Indian battle-field of missions that 
yield more readily than such a city as Benares does to the 
summons of the Captain of our Salvation. But let the 
Christian Church see to it that missions are especially 
strong where heathenism in her last retreat gathers together 
her greatest strength. 

' When I first came to Benares, twenty-nine years ago, 
mission influence seemed to me scarcely to have penetrated 
beneath the surface of the vast dense heathen life of this 
city. But now by means of our schools, our preaching, our 
dissemination of Christian literature, and the comparatively 
new work of zenana visitation which has already made 
astonishing progress, Christian light has penetrated the 
inmost recesses of heathenism at Benares. In visits which 
I have had the privilege of exchanging with leading native 
gentry of Benares, with professors and students of the 
Sanskrit Schools, with heads of the Hindu sects, and with 
the chief ascetics and devotees of the city, I have rejoiced 
to find how rays of Gospel light are beginning to illuminate 
the minds of even these high representatives of the intense 
Hindu life of Benares. It appears to me highly significant 
of the mighty changes taking place in India under Christian 
influence that the most highly honoured Hindu ascetic in 
Benares, some time ago, should have left his garden hermi- 
tage to pay Mrs. Hewlett and myself a visit in our house, and 
should have sat listening with rapture as I spoke to him 
of the love of Christ in bringing about such a wonderful 
salvation for sinful man, as is revealed in the Gospel. Nor 
is it perhaps less noteworthy that on January 2, IcSqi, the 
priest of the Golden Temple, the most sacred shrine in 
Benares, where Hindu bigotry is supposed to reign in full 
force, should not only have been brought to visit me in my 


home, but should also have listened with apparent interest, 
as I endeavoured to explain to him the difference between 
Christianity and Hinduism. When we consider, therefore, 
all the opportunities of Christian usefulness afforded us 
at Benares, beginning on the one hand with the native 
Christian communities and ranging through all the various 
classes of society, even as far as to the priests of the temples 
and the devotees in the monastaries, and when we reflect 
how through the right use of these opportunities we are 
likely to exercise a blessed Christian influence upon 
India generally, it seems impossible to conceive that 
any right-thinking person should for a moment refrain 
from advocating a strengthening of the missionary agencies 
at Benares. 

' But what missionaries at Benares now feel that Indian 
missions most need, and what they would ask friends of 
missions especially to pray for, is that all who bear the 
Christian name in India may be blessed with a great 
infusion of spiritual power, with full consecration to the 
Saviour's service, and with intense yearning for the salvation 
of souls.' 

4. MiRZAPUR is a town of 60,000 people, thirty miles 
higher up the Ganges than Benares, and the mission here 
was begun in 1837. Mr. Mather was transferred there 
from Benares in May, 1838. It is built with fine wide 
streets, under the superintendence of European magistrates, 
and presents exceptional facilities for evangelistic preaching. 
It is one of the great trade centres of Northern India. 
An orphan school was the first important work begun, 
mainly for the sake of a number of children from Agra 
who had been left destitute by the ravages of a recent 
famine. In 1839 there were twenty-five boys and thirty 
girls in this school. Active bazaar preaching was carried 
on, and steps were taken to provide and circulate Christian 
literature. Mr. J. H. Budden was attached to Mirzapur 
from 1843 to 1848; Mr. M. A. Wollaston from 1843 to 
1851 ; and Mr. Artope from 1845 to 1854. Mr. Wollaston 

P 2 

212 NORTH INDIA : 1S25-1S95 

superintended the schools, and prepared many useful educa- 
tional books. He died at Mirzapur in 1851. Mr. Artope 
was engaged as assistant missionary, and took part in 
both vernacular preaching and also school work. He and 
his wife returned to England in 1854. In connection 
with the orphan school a press was established, which for 
many years printed tracts, papers, and books. 

From 1847 to 1857 Mr. Mather carefully supervised the 
mission, giving himself fully and freely to evangelistic and 
itinerating labours, and also to vernacular literature ; while 
Mrs. Mather devoted herself to work among the native 
v/omen. Just prior to the outbreak of the Mutiny Mr. and 
Mrs. Mather returned to England, where they remained 
until November, i860. During this time, at the request of 
the North India and of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society, he revised and saw through the press the complete 
Urdu Bible, including marginal references ; and he also 
saw through the press a complete New Testament in 
English and Urdu. In 1862 the University of Glasgow 
conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. In 1869 ill 
health led him for a time to Almora, and while there he 
finished a new edition of the Bible in Roman-Urdu, and 
began one, with references, in Arabic-Urdu. He returned 
to Mirzapur in January, 1870, but after three years' labour 
returned to England. While at home, at the joint request 
of the North India Tract Society and the Religious Tract 
Society, he prepared and carried through the press a 
Hindustani version of the Tract Society's Annotated Para- 
graph New Testament, and on the completion of this task 
he undertook the Hindustani version of the Annotated 
Paragraph Old Testament. When these tasks were com- 
pleted it was deemed inadvisable for him to return to 
India. He died at Finchley, April 21, 1877. Mrs. Mather, 
in 1878, rejoined the female mission at Mirzapur. She 
was a remarkable woman, and had greatly aided her 
husband in his literary work. Though over sixty, her 
strong missionary zeal carried her back to the work she 
loved. She died at Naini Tal in March, 1879. 


Tlie Indian Mutiny did not directly afifect any of the 
London Missionary Society's stations. For a time both 
Benares and Mirzapur were in great periL But the courage 
and promptitude of the British officers at both places averted 
the impending danger. Those who desire a clear and most 
interesting narrative of the Mutiny in its effect upon 
Christian work, and the attitude of the Christian natives 
throughout this trying time, should read Sherring's The 
Indian CJmrch during tJie Great Rebellion. Chapters xii 
and xiii deal with Mirzapur and Benares, and the noble 
spirit manifested by the native Christians is fully illustrated 
in chapter xxiii. 

During Mr. Mather's absence, i<S57 to 1861, Mr. Sherring 
was in charge at Mirzapur, and Mr. W. Jones arrived as 
his colleague in February, 1859. By this time the mission 
was in a very efficient working order. There was a staff 
of five catechists and readers, the schools had increased 
to eleven, and a second native church had been opened. 

In 1 86 1 Mr. Sherring returned to Benares, and from 
October, 1 861, to December, 1863, Mr. Jones was at Almora 
and Benares. In the latter month he left Benares to 
found the new Singrowli Mission. 

In 187 1 Mr. John Hewlett, who had been for nine years 
at Benares, removed to Mirzapur, where he laboured for 
the next seven years. He was succeeded by David Hutton. 
who in 1882 was joined by Edwin Greaves. Like several 
other stations in North India, Mirzapur has been unfruitful 
in numerous and striking instances of direct results from 
the steady, persistent, and devoted efforts which many 
consecrated Christian men and women have there put 
forth. Encouraging instances have not been lacking, ever 
since 1838, but they have never equalled the aspirations 
of the mission's friends. There can be little doubt that 
one explanation has been the wholly inadequate strength 
of the mission. Not unfrequently at Mirzapur, and even 
at Benares, there has been only one available missionary 
for the work. What can one man do among 60,000 as 
at Mirzapur, or 220,000 as at Benares? 

214 NORTH INDIA: 1825-1895 

But the indirect results in the way of undermining the 
citadels of Hinduism and Muhammadanism have been very 
considerable. Strenuous efforts have been made in recent 
years to increase the staff of workers. 

In 1H95 there were in Mirzapur and the surrounding 
district four male missionaries— David Hutton, T. Insell, 
E. Greaves, and Dr. R. J. Ashton ; and three female 
missionaries — Miss Hewlett, Miss Waitt, and Miss Stevens. 
If the strength of the mission can be maintained at any- 
thing like this level the harvest, too long delayed, must soon 
gladden the hearts of the reapers. 

Two branch missions have sprung out of Mirzapur- 
Singrowli in 1863, and Kachhwa in 189:5. 

(i) The Singrowli Mission has had a romantic history. 
It v/as founded by a young and earnest Welshman, William 
Jones, who joined the Mirzapur Mission in 1859. Singrowli, 
a district about one hundred miles to the south-east of 
Mirzapur, was inhabited by aborigines who had been 
cruelly oppressed by their native rulers. Dr. Mather spent 
two months at Dudhi, a village of about 1,100 inhabitants, 
in 1863-3, and made arrangements then for the opening 
of a mission. He left a few Christian teachers from Mir- 
zapur to carry on a school, and in May, 1863, the work was 
handed over to Mr. Jones, who was at first greatly impeded 
in his labours by ill health. A house was built in 1864, and 
an itinerating journey taken in the cold season. Mr. Jones 
was a speaker at the annual meeting of the Society in 
Exeter Hall in 1868, and in the course of a powerful 
address he gave a vivid and stimulating picture of this 
new mission : — 

' Singrowli is one hundred miles south of Benares — not 
an ordinary hundred miles : with the exception of about 
twenty miles you go through the jungle until you come to 
the place called Singrowli, a valley in the southern part of 
Mirzapur. The people dwelling in that valley, and for 
hundreds of miles south, are called aboriginal tribes — they 
probably occupied India before the Hindus, and were 
driven by them to the mountains. Very little had been 


done for those people — nothing by us — and there are, 
according to the calculation I saw last, eight millions of 
those people in Central India now. A little has been done 
by the German missionaries, and in one or two places by 
the Baptist missionaries, but nothing had been done by us 
for them until four years ago. We chose that place as 
a basis to work upon to go among those people south. 
They have been a wretchedly oppressed people, and are 
to a very great extent a wretchedly oppressed people to 
the present day, and yet they are under British Govern- 
ment ; but they are isolated, so far away — the nearest 
magistrate we have is one hundred miles from us, and he 
has a territory under his control as large as the principality 
of Wales. These people live in this valley, isolated from 
the outside world, and the magistrate has to send a native 
down to take charge of them, and this native goes with 
a number of police, and they do take charge of the people, 
and of the things that belong to them, too. 

' The man who was there when I went down had been there 
for four years, and had had his own way, and had taken such 
possession, not only of the property of the people, but of the 
mind of the people by terror, that it was almost impossible 
to get these people to believe that they were not entirely at 
his mercy. He had instituted a system of forced, unpaid 
labour. When a road had to be mended, a bridge made, 
or a house built, he had only to send his policemen to the 
villages to collect natives, who came by the week together 
and did the work, eating their own food, and returning 
home without one halfpenny of wages : and this under 
British Government. He had also terrified them to such 
an extent that they durst not sell a single thing without his 
permission. When I was there, for a whole month I was 
obliged to get an order every day from that man to get my 
food. I wanted to build a house there, because a man 
going one hundred miles away from civilization cannot live 
without a house, and I had to build one. And as there 
was a great deal to be done, making bricks, cutting timber, 
and so on, I wanted some help. But I could not get the 

2i6 NORTH INDIA: 1S25-1S95 

people to work unless I got an order from him. Why? 
Because he had made slaves of them, in fact, till they dare 
not work unless he was employed as an agent. I understood 
the reason of that very soon. He came and offered to take 
the building of the house on contract ; and what was that? 
Why, let him have the money, and he would build the house 
at no cost to himself, and the mission house there would 
have been a monument of oppression if we had fallen into 
the trap. When I saw that, one morning, feeling confidence 
in Providence, I sent all the food back that had come from 
his house, and told him I wanted nothing more from him ; 
and I told him if I could not get men to work there, I would 
send for fifty men from Benares, and get them to work. 
That frightened him a little, so I had more liberty with the 
people, and they began to come to work, and I had to pay 
them every night with my own hands, and thus increase 
their confidence. 

' In about a month after that he came to me and said 
I was spoiling the people, that they were getting impudent, 
and would not work for him as they did before, and if I did 
not desist he must get from there. Well, of course, I had 
only to say the sooner he went the better. He took leave 
then for three months, and went to Mirzapore, and we did 
not see him, and by that time the people had learnt that he 
had no right to make them work without pay, and as long 
as he lived he could not get a man to do half a day's work 
for him without paying for it. I built the house in the 
course of six months ; very hard work it was, and very 
expensive work too. I expended of the Missionary Society's 
money then twice at least as much as I should have ex- 
pended under other circumstances ; but I believe, by building 
that house in that way, I preached the Gospel to those 
people in the best way I possibly could. I do not believe 
myself in preaching the Gospel to the souls of people while 
I see them trampled upon. I believe that we are to do as 
the Saviour did when He sent His disciples to preach the 
kingdom of God, and to heal the sick ; and we have sick 
people there. 


' Thirty miles south of the house we have built, there is 
one tribe of 3,000, so barbarous that they live wild in the 
forest, without houses, without clothes, without agriculture, 
without any villages to dwell in ; they run wild through these 
woods. I went among those people ; I travelled about 400 
miles three years ago to see the state of these people. 
I passed through that tribe ; I passed again beyond that to 
another tribe, where I found the moral degradation of the 
people terrible. I have gone to a village there and found 
every man, woman, and child religiously drunk. I say 
" religiously " because it is a religious institution with them ; 
and not only so, but the priests of that tribe are bound to 
be drunk always. They are not allowed to be sober one 
moment. I tried to keep a priest with me once there, and 
the moment the man felt himself getting right, he went off 
and got more. I asked the reason of that, and they said 
that the hobgoblins or demons they worship are such that 
if the priest is not always in that state they get angry with 
him. I could not help feeling shame among those oppressed 
people, that there were many people in this country who 
would have made splendid priests for them. 

' I have been only three years among those people, and 
therefore I cannot speak of success. I have established 
two schools in the course of three years. I managed to get 
about thirty children to come to the schools. I went 
among the villages also and preached to the people — that 
is not preaching, remember, but speaking to the people, 
because the use of that word "preaching" in connection 
with missions misleads the people. We do not preach as 
you do here : we simply talk to the people. Those 
people, through the agency that has been working there for 
three years^ have begun to understand something, — to 
understand that there is a God different and above those 
hobgoblins they have been accustomed to worship, that 
there is a God different from the tigers, and the leopards, 
and the bears, and snakes, and scorpions around them, 
which they worship because they are afraid of them ; and 
in four of the villages next to the place where I lived for 

2l8 NORTH INDIA : 1825-1S95 

the last two years, the annual sacrifice has ceased. They 
are not Christians, but they are coming round, and they 
will come round I have no doubt.' 

It is a fact of singular interest in connection with this 
mission that through Dr. Mather the administration of the 
whole district, comprising a wide area of country and 
a large population, was offered by the Government to the 
Society, Dr. Mather was for accepting the offer, but 
Mr. Jones was against it. In the end the Directors de- 
clined to undertake the responsibility. 

Mr, Jones returned to Dudhi in the early part of 1869, 
and in the autumn of that year made an extensive itinera- 
ting tour with his native helper, Peter Elias, In March, 
1870, he contracted fever, and although Mr, Lambert of 
Mirzapur hastened to his assistance, he died on April 25, 
1870. Since the death of Mr. Jones the mission has been 
under the care of a resident native agent. Peter Elias died 
in 1889. The missionary at Mirzapur includes in his 
yearly duties a visit to Dudhi. 

(2) The Kachhwa Mission was an outcome of the 
Forward Movement. It is a place of about 3,500 in- 
habitants, situated on the north bank of the Ganges, about 
twelve miles north-east of Mirzapur on the road to Benares. 
It is the centre of a populous district, and a most promising 
centre for aggressive Christian- work. Dr. Ashton was 
appointed to the work in 1893, and a site for the mission 
was acquired. The check to the Forward Movement led 
to a temporary abandonment of the mission ; but in 1896 
the Directors resolved to reappoint Dr. Ashton and reopen 
the mission, in the faith and in the full confidence that God 
in His own time and way will make Kachhwa a centre 
of light and Christian truth. 

5. The Mission in Kuaiaon. The province of Kumaon 
is a sub-Himalayan region about half the size of Scotland, 
lying to the north of Rohilkhand, and to the west of 
Nepal, It is very mountainous, and is inhabited by 
hill people, Hindu in religion, and of a low t}'pe in civiliza- 


tion. Since 18 16 the district has been under a British 
Commissioner. For many years this post was held by 
Sir Henry Ramsay, who did very much to benefit the 
province, and whose initiative led to the founding of the 

This mission has a character of its own, quite unlike 
that of any other station occupied by the Society in North 
India. The two centres of work are Almora and Rani 
Khetj places situated on the southern slopes of the Hima- 
laya Mountains, SP^*^ '^'"'d 6,000 feet above the plains. 
Consequently they enjoy a bracing and healthy climate, 
and would be even more welcome as a sanatorium for 
North Indian workers were they easier of access. Almora 
is a small but important town where the Society possesses 
very suitable premises. Rani Khet is a military station 
and sanatorium for British troops. 

(i) The mission in Almora dates from 1850. It was 
undertaken by J. H. Budden in response to the request of 
Captain Ramsay, as he then was, and some Christian 
gentlemen residing in Kumaon, who promised to meet 
local expenses and to refund Mr. Budden's salary. This 
plan the Directors sanctioned ; but, like most if not all 
exceptional arrangements of this kind, the pecuniary sup- 
port somewhat declined, and after a few years the Directors 
had to resume payment of Mr. Budden's salary. Yet 
this mission, to a much larger extent than most, has bene- 
fited by local European support all through its history. 
Mrs. Budden died in 1859, and in January, i860, Mr. Budden 
reached England, where, aided by the Religious Tract 
Society, he passed through the press five books in Urdu 
and Hindi which he had previously prepared for native 
Christians. The Rev. John Hewlett became associated 
with Mr. Budden in 1863, the latter for some years suffering 
from very bad health, but from 1866 to 1884 he was in 
steady work there. The Rev. H. Coley joined the mission 
in 1878, and laboured there till 1889. 

Great attention was paid to education, and for many- 
years the school of the mission was the only one in the 

.220 NORTH INDIA : 1S25~1S95 

province where a superior education, both native and 
European, could be obtained. In 1H86 the school, mainly 
by the influence of Sir H. Ramsay, was raised to the rank 
of a college, and affiliated to the Calcutta University. From 
that time it has been known as Ramsay College. Female 
education has been carefully developed, first under Mrs. 
Budden, and then by her daughters. 

But the special feature of the mission has been the 
Leper Asylum. It occupies a site of six acres, and can 
accommodate 130 inmates. Originally it was a building 
erected by Captain Ramsay, but in 1850 Mr. Budden took 
charge of it, changed the site, erected the needful buildings, 
and placed its support upon a sound footing. In 1864 and 
1865 no less than ninety-six of the lepers were baptized. 
Between 1880 and 1890 250 were admitted ; of whom ninety- 
one were baptized, and forty-two became church members. 
The Report for 1895 stated: 'The year closed with 114 
inmates, sixty men and fifty-four women. Nearly all are 
now Christians.' 

The founder and pioneer of the mission, Mr. Budden, 
died March j8, 1890, after almost fifty years' service in 
India, and forty in Almora. The .staff in 1891 was 
G. M. Bulloch and E. S. Oakley, with Miss Budden and 
Miss Meachen. 

(2) The mission at Rani Khct, twenty miles north-west 
of Almora, was begun by James Kennedy in 1869. He 
worked there for eight years, building mission premises, 
superintending schools, and conducting services, both for 
natives and for the soldiers resident there. Considerable 
time also was given to itinerating. In 1877 Mr. Kennedy 
returned to England. He was succeeded by E. A. Phillips, 
B.A., in 1878, but ill health compelled his resignation in 
1883. Since 1884 the mission has been under the charge 
of J. A. Lambert. Although much earnest labour has been 
devoted to this mission, it has never attained the hoped-for 
success. The Deputation of 1883 reported : ' It is, without 
exception, the feeblest and most unsatisfactory mission the 
Society has in India.' 


This condition of affairs is largely due to the fact that as 
a place of mission-work among the heathen its importance 
lies not in the resident population, for the native town is 
little more than the camp followers round the great 
sanatorium for the troops, but as the centre of a district in 
which are to be found a large population of the hillmen 
scattered in many villages. The missionary at Rani Khet, 
therefore, ought to be constantly about the district, and 
well supported by a band of reliable helpers stationed in 
various parts. But Rani Khet is also a great centre for 
European troops, mostly young soldiers sent up to be 
acclimatized during the first year of their residence in 
India. These troops sorely need the ministrations of 
earnest and faithful Christian men, and the missionary 
of the Society at Rani Khet has been accustomed to act 
as Presbyterian chaplain. 

The constant claims of his English work made it 
necessary for Mr. Lambert to depend largely upon native 
helpers for work in the district, and he discovered after 
a time that one after another was either inefficient or 
unworthy of the trust placed in him. For the first two 
years everything seemed to go well, then in 1887 and 1888 
he was absent in England on furlough after thirteen years' 
service. On his return the difficulty of the position began 
to appear. He wrote, sorrowfully, in 1890: 'The last two 
years have been the most trying of my missionary career. 
Further knowledge of the workers, even those whom I had 
employed and trusted before leaving for England, convinced 
me that they were not fit for the work ; more harm seemed 
to be done by these ignorant and untrained men than good, 
so that by the end of 1 890 all but one had left us, and of 
that one I felt very uncertain.' 

On the other hand, good work has been done among the 
soldiers ; full and even crowded services, and well-attended 
Bible-classes. A number of men gave clear evidence of 
a change of heart, and did all they could to bring others 
to a knowledge of their Saviour. 

A Eurasian helper, Mr. S. McMullen, who has had large 

222 NORTH INDIA: 1825~1S95 

experience, and is thoroughly acquainted with the character 
and habits of the people, has, together with Mr. Bell, 
who does the work of a medical missionary, and a Bible- 
woman, been in charge of the out-stations for several years, 
and has devoted himself to them with much energy and 

[Authorities. — Letters, Manuscripts, and Official Reports ; Memorials 
of the Rev. A. F. Lacroix, by Joseph Mullens ; Recollections of N^orthcrn 
I}tdia, by William Buyers, 1848; History of Protestant Alissions in India 
(1884), and The Indian Church during the Rebellion (1S59), ^7 ^- '^• 
Sherring ; Ten Years'" Missionary labour in India, by Joseph Mullens ; 
Life atid IVork in Benares and Ktimaon, by James Kennedy ; Memorials of 
the Rev. T. Boaz, LL.D., 1862 ; Daily Life and Work in India, by W. J. 
Wilkins, 1888.] 



It was quite late in the century before there was any 
general recognition of the great importance of Medical 
Mission work in India, on the part of the various missionary 
Societies and their constituents. From the earliest days 
almost all the missionaries were led, some by choice, many 
by the compulsion of circumstances, to devote time and 
attention to medical work. Scanty as their knowledge 
may have been, and clumsy and inefficient as their practice 
often was, yet the medical knowledge and skill of the most 
poorly equipped European were immeasurably superior to 
the attainments of the ignorant, superstitious, and custom- 
ridden men and women with whom he had to do. In 
daily contact with the people, eye-witnesses of their suffer- 
ings and their follies, seeing disease spreading and propa- 
gating under their eyes, many missionaries and their wives 
would have been less than human had they not done, in 
the absence of any helper better qualified than themselves, 
what they could to relieve the pain and misery of which 
they were witnesses. 

As knowledge of Indian people and their customs in- 
creased, it became evident that Western medical skill 
might open a wide and effectual door into the hearts and 
minds of the natives. Medical aid is one of the very few 
forms of help which the Hindu is at liberty to receive. 
The missionary goes to them with a message which, from 
its very nature and terms, must arouse the deadly hostility 
of all that is most native and characteristic within them. 
The medical missionary, through the channel of a body 
healed, of a pain banished, of a crippled faculty restored, 


starts at a much greater advantage, and often finds a 
sympathetic hearing where his ministerial colleague meets 
with prejudice and aversion. 

As early as 1804 a medical missionary, John Taylor by 
name, was appointed for medical work in Surat ; but though 
he reached India he never entered upon his work, and in 
i(So6 he left the Society. In South India the first medical 
mission worthy of the name was started by the Society, 
and this, at the close of the century, is stronger and more 
useful than ever. In the year i83(S Mr. A. Ramsay, a duly 
qualified medical man, opened a medical mission at Nager- 
coil. It at once became popular, and Mr. Ramsay wrote: 
'People of every caste, even the Brahmins, flock to me for 
advice. I have free access to all, and have great reason to 
believe that good will be done.' A hospital was built, and 
all seemed going on hopefully, when Ramsay allowed him- 
self to be tempted away from mission-work, and in 1842 he 
ceased to be associated with the Society. For thirteen 
years nothing more was done, but in 1852 C. C. Leitch was 
sent out to take charge of the Neyoor district, from which 
Mr. Mead had just retired, and to re-establish the medical 
mission, with Neyoor and not Nagercoil as the centre. In 
March, 1854, he sent home his first report, and in this he 
states that ' during the year 5,318 patients had been treated, 
of which number 1,332 were women ; and at the dispensary 
Brahmans and Nairs, with the female members of their fami- 
lies, were found sitting contiguous to persons of the lowest 
castes, and listening with interest to the brief address which 
always prefaces the work of healing.' In August, 1854, Mr. 
Leitch was drowned while bathing at Muttam, a little sea- 
side place five or six miles from Neyoor, and for a second 
time the mission was deprived of its qualified medical head. 
John Lowe was appointed to succeed him, and reached 
Neyoor November 21, 186 1. His services marked a new 
era in the mission. During the seven years of his superin- 
tendence upwards of 50,000 persons passed through the 
dispensaries. He opened the hospital at Neyoor, estab- 
lished three branch dispensaries, and began a medical class 


for young men. whom he trained in the hope of their 
becoming competent medical assistants. 

In the CJironiclc for 1(86;^ details are given of this impor- 
tant work : — 

* A class was commenced in November, ] 864, for the 
study of medicine and surgery, and for training a few suit- 
able young men as assistants or dressers in connection with 
a contemplated extension of our work throughout our 
missions, by means of branch dispensaries. Including the 
hospital assistant, the class consists of eight missionary 
students, and one private student, supported by His High- 
ness the First Prince of Travancore, who, together with 
His Highness the Maharajah, has all along taken a deep 
interest in the success of our benevolent operations. The 
young men have all received a good English education ; 
the kind interest they take in the patients, and the diligence 
and success with which they have hitherto prosecuted their 
studies, are very gratifying. 

' As showing the Christian spirit manifested by the stu- 
dents, and as expressing the views which they themselves 
entertain regarding the work to which they are looking 
forward, a short extract from an address prepared by the 
students, and presented to Dr. Mullens on the occasion of 
his late visit to our missions, will no doubt be read with 
interest : — 

' " It is to the London Missionary Society that we are solely 
indebted for all the advantages and comforts we now enjoy ; 
and we praise God that that noble Society has so wisely, 
zealously, and successfully contrived and adopted plans for 
the establishment and extension of Christ's kingdom in 
heathen lands. Among these plans, we, as students con- 
nected with the South Travancore Mission Hospital, take 
this opportunity of stating that the medical mission the 
Society has established here, is one of the most important 
and most valuable agencies for the diffusion of the Gospel 
among the various communities of India, widely separated 
from each other as they are by the curse of caste. We, 

1 Pages 25-30. 
II. Q 


and the people of Travancore, feel deeply grateful to the 
London Missionary Society, and to the Edinburgh Medical 
Missionary Society, for the establishment of a medical 
mission amongst us." 

' Our ordinary routine of work in the hospital commences 
with a short religious service, which lasts about twenty 
minutes. A few verses of Scripture are read, then a short 
address is delivered, and the service is closed with prayer. 
One by one the patients are then admitted to the consulting- 
room, examined and prescribed for ; they then return to 
the waiting-room, and remain there till called for to receive 
their medicine. While we are thus engaged, Nyanabranam, 
evangelist, and along with him, once a week, Vethadasen, 
our itinerating agent, a converted Brahmin, are bus}^ distri- 
buting, or reading and explaining tracts, singing Christian 
lyrics — which the heathen are passionately fond of — or 
speaking personally to the patients and their friends about 
their souls' salvation. Among in-door and out-door patients, 
and while visiting patients at their own homes, thousands of 
suitable tracts and Scripture portions have been distributed 
gratuitously or sold. A few of the heathen patients have 
of their own accord purchased complete copies of the 

' To every patient a card is given, which must be kept 
clean and brought back at every subsequent visit ; upon it 
the name and number of the patient is written, correspond- 
ing with the entry in our register ; the rules of the hospital, 
eight appropriate passages of Scripture, and a short 
prayer are printed upon the card. Morning and evening 
prayers are held regularly with the in-door patients, and 
Nyanabranam and the students take frequent oppor- 
tunities of speaking a word in season to them and their 
attendants, and endeavour to cheer and comfort them in 
their loneliness.' 

The Lancet for J(S66 referred to the medical work at 
Neyoor in very appreciative terms : — 

' Apart from the moral interest attaching to medical 
missions, it is impossible to look upon the labours of 


medical missionaries, and upon their contention with old 
forms of medicine and civiHzation, with anything but much 
pleasure. We venture to believe that when the history of 
the first effective impression made by Western nations upon 
the old and effete notions of the East comes to be written, 
a most honourable, if not the very first, page will be reserved 
for an account of the labours of the first men who went out 
in the capacity of medical missionaries. We have just 
completed the reading of several reports of such men, and 
have not often read reports with a greater sense of instruc- 
tion and interest. They relate professional work with the 
modesty and moderation of true physicians ; they make 
generous and honourable mention of the medical assistance 
and services of men of other nations and other ways of 
thinking ; they are singularly free from cant and common- 
place ; and they abound in most interesting information 
as to the state of medicine in China and India, or rather 
the state of society from a medical point of view. The 
reports to which we more particularly allude are — one 
by F. Porter Smith, M.B. Lend., and surgeon of the 
Hankow Medical Missionary Hospital ; one by Dr. Dudgeon, 
surgeon of the Pekin Hospital; and one by Mr. John Lowe, 
M.R.C.S.E., in charge of the South Travancore Mission 

During Dr. Lowe's superintendence the Rajah of Travan- 
core became so interested in the medical work that he 
aided it by an annual grant. Dr. Lowe returned to England 
in 1868, because of his wife's ill health, and as she failed to 
regain strength, in 1871 he resigned, and became superin- 
tendent of the Dispensary and Training Institution of the 
Edinburgh Medical Mission. From 1868 to 1872 native 
medical assistants successfully carried on the mission until 
the arrival, in 1873, of Dr. T. S. Thomson and his wife. 
He was a man of great energy, of strong faith, and of 
energetic temper. The hospital soon became too small 
for the work, and a second, equal in size to the first, was 

* The building of the second hospital at Neyoor was 

Q 2 


a most remarkable answer to prayer. The work had so 
far extended that we could not get on without an extra 
building ; and having collected about 200 rupees from 
patients who had received benefit, we laid the foundation 
of a good building, made a subscription list, and I sent it 
to the Maharajah, asking him kindly to head the list with 
a subscription. To my gratitude and delight he wrote, 
through his Dewan (Prime Minister), requesting to know 
the cost of the proposed building. I replied 2,cco rupees, 
and he at once sent an order for the whole of the money to 
be paid, while at the same time he desired the Dewan 
to write and express his great satisfaction at the good 
done to his people by the medical mission ^.' 

In this enlarged hospital Dr. Thomson and his assistants 
annually treated more than 20,000 patients. He was 
equally successful in the development of the medical train- 
ing school. Dr. Thomson was full of missionary ardour, 
no less than of enthusiasm for his profession. 

' How many thousands may receive good to their bodies 
is a small matter to me, compared with the fact that some 
souls are brought to Christ. If I can believingly say 
that some souls are savingly converted I can rest,' were 
words very often on his lips; and again, 'I am a mis- 
sionary, not merely a medico ;' words which fully expressed 
the attitude of his soul with respect to the work he had 

' Perhaps you will like to know how a Sunday is spent 
in Travancore. I will describe last Sunday. We begin 
work with a short prayer-meeting and the reading of 
a Psalm, while the service is beginning in the church. 
Our work lies outside the church. A little boy's arm 
which has been amputated is dressed. A few urgent 
cases are attended to, then we set out for the town of 
Travancore. This is an old town ; formerly it was the 
capital of this native State, and hence its name. Each 
dresser and student goes to his appointed village, to preach 
to the heathen in school-rooms, which are used as girls' 
1 Memoirs of Thomas Smith Thomson, by I. II. Hacker, p. 58. 


schools by Mrs. Thomson for the heathen children during 
the week. On my way I meet a little boy whose hand is 
swollen from fracture, without any bandages. I stop and 
tell the father to bring the boy to the hospital at two 
o'clock, warning him that his son will lose his arm by 
mortification if it is not bandaged properly. I then reach 
Travancore, and have a service among some Syrian Chris- 
tians, who are very dead and cold, and do nothing to build 
up their church. I speak to them about Christ, the Life- 
giver, who came that they might have life, and have it 
more abundantly. After this service, I call to see a Sudra 
heathen teacher, who promised to let us teach his scholars 
in his school on Sunday after he had done teaching. The 
teacher is absent, but the school children are there. In 
a corner of the school-room there is a black mound, with 
flowers before and around it. It has the head and trunk 
of an elephant. That is Ganesa, the God of wisdom, whom 
every school-boy in India invokes to help him in lessons. 
I talk to the little children about God being a Spirit, sing 
a hymn and pray, and then return home to breakfast. 
After breakfast attend the 1 1 a.m. service at the Neyoor 
Chapel, where a good sermon is preached on the tekt, 
" Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself 
and take up his cross, and follow Me." At 2 p.m., 
we have our usual Sabbath afternoon service with the 
patients, and the text being a favourite one of mine, John 
X. 9, " By Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved," the 
patients listen attentively. Dinner at half-past three, 
after which we start to two Sabbath schools in heathen 
villages. The first school is taught by a student on Sunday. 
It belongs to a heathen master ; but he is willing that the 
children should be taught Christian truths, as the parents 
do not object. They sing a lyric in their own fashion, 
" Sweeter than honey is the name of Jesus," and their 
lessons are heard. The next school we visit is composed 
of over a dozen Sudra girls, learning about the birth of 
Christ from a female Christian teacher. After examining 
these children we walk over to a Pariah village, where one 


of our dressers is found talking to the poor people about 
the blind man whose eyes Jesus opened. Here we have 
a very interesting time, and I speak to their Sudra em- 
ployers about erecting a school for these poor people. But 
they object to their being taught. After talking about 
this, however, we get permission, and we hope to have 
a building for these poor people in a few weeks' time. We 
have been trying to get this school for many months, 
making it repeatedly a subject of prayer, and often it 
seemed to be slipping out of our hands. But the Lord is 
more powerful than all against us, and will be honoured. 
After this we return home in the moonlight, and thus ends 
our Sunday ^' 

In 1876 Mrs. Thomson, a highly gifted lady, who had 
done much good work among the girls and women of the 
district, died. She had expressed the wish that her Tamil 
Bible should be sent to the Dewan, or Prime Minister, of 
Travancore. The book was accepted, and a letter sent to 
her sorrowing husband, which affords a fine illustration of 
how the influence of Christianity extends in India through 
educational work : — 

' The parting gift of poor Mrs. Thomson has duly reached 
me, and I feel indeed very thankful. A copy of this was 
the first printed book put into my hand when I was a little 
boy of eight, wending my way to Madras for education. 
I got it from a missionary who was distributing Bibles and 
tracts. Then again, it was the first book I read in English, 
under the late Rev. John Anderson of the Scotch Mission, 
when I was ten years old. So the present of the Bible 
was welcome to me in several ways. The first truths 
imparted to the mind when young stick to the last, 
and I often feel how much I owe to the moral principles 
instilled into my mind by that loving and beloved 
missionary -.' 

From 1876 to 1884 Dr. Thomson laboured with great 
energy and success. 

'Before Dr. Thomson arrived in 1872, the number of 

^ Memoirs, pp. 62-4. ^ Ibid. p. 72. 


patients annually treated was under 10,000, while in 1883 
the number of people who had come under the care of the 
medical mission amounted to no less than 29,433 ; while 
the work had extended over an area of 700 square miles, 
in the midst of a population of 350,000 people of all castes. 
As the work widened, greater help in money and sympathy 
was rendered, both by the native population and the 
Europeans living in Travancore, who were acquainted 
with its beneficent nature. As each year passed by, and 
accounts came to be closed, Dr. Thomson was always 
encouraged by finding the cash balances in favour of the 
mission, although often in the middle of the year he had 
found great difficulties in making ends meet. But he 
never had to complain that the Lord had disappointed 
him. "Lacked ye anything?" said Jesus Christ to his 
disciples when they returned from their first missionary 
tour ; and the disciples could truly answer, " Nothing." 
Dr. Thomson, year after year, rendered the same testi- 
mony gratefully and joyfully. He received much help 
from the native Government in the way of building in 
different parts of the country ^ 

'In the year 1882 the usefulness of the medical mission 
and Dr. Thomson's labours received a further illustration. 
Bishop Sargent, of Tinnevelly, of the Church Missionary 
Society, applied to him for a trained medical evangelist — 
one whose piety and devotion to Christ could be relied 
upon — who was required to join a company of native 
preachers, which was going forth from the native Church 
at Tinnevelly to engage in missionary work amongst the 
Gonds, one of the aboriginal tribes inhabiting the hill 
countries in the Central Provinces of India. The history 
of this first native missionary effort is an interesting and 
encouraging sign of the development of Christian zeal 
in the native Church ^. 

' Dr. Thomson felt this as a distinct call from God to 
help, and his way of dealing with the application was 
characteristic. He summoned all his young men together, 

' Memoirs, p. 78. - Ibid. p. 85. 



laid the whole matter before them, its duties, respon- 
sibilities, its dangers, and its glory ; then they knelt 
together in prayer for help, and when they rose he 
asked who would volunteer to go. One man, Alfred, 
the son of Suviseshamuttoo, an evangelist in connection 
with the London Missionary Society in Salem, at once 
said, " Here am I, send me." He left Travancore on 
November t, I(S(S2, joined his native brethren at Palam- 
cottah, and, followed by many earnest prayers, the little 
band reached their destination in the Koi country safely 
and began their great work. Major-General Haig in 
a letter says: — 

' " I had no conception before of the immense value and 
importance of medical missions, not only in recommending 
the Gospel, but in attracting hearers who would not 
otherwise come within the sound of it. We have had 
patients from all quarters, distances from twenty to thirty 
miles. Some even from the low country. All sorts of 
ailments, diseases, and wounds have been treated, and 
generally, I must say, I think successfully, though the 
supply of medicines and appliances is as yet very deficient. 
About 230 cases in all have been treated up to the present. 
Some have been of special interest ^." ' 

In July, 1884, Dr. Thomson died after only a few days' 
illness. He passed away in the full vigour of manhood, 
and in the midst of most important and most successful 
work. G. O. Newport wrote of him : ' Thousands of grate- 
ful hearts in Travancore will thank God for his services, 
and thousands will mourn his death. His life was one 
continued labour of love, and no missionary I ever knew 
was more what a true missionary ought to be.' 

Dr. Thomson was succeeded by Dr. Sargood Fry, who 
superintended the mission until 189a, when he resigned, 
and succeeded Dr. Lowe in Edinburgh. By 1891 the 
branch dispensaries had increased to nine, and a leper 
ward was added to the hospital in i88<S. Dr. Sargood Fry 
was succeeded by Mr. Arthur Fells, M.B. In, 

* Memoirs, pp. 95, 96. 


189T, the handsome Jubilee Hospital was opened. It 
accommodates thirty patients, and cost 13,000 rupees. 
Here is a visit to it in 1897: — 

' Neyoor Hospital is now one of the best-known insti- 
tutions in South Travancore, and the original dispensary 
has been replaced by a large and substantial hospital. Nor 
is it too large for the needs of the work. Every bed in the 
male ward is occupied. In one there is the chief man 
of a group of villages in British territory. He has suffered 
for some months from a severe and painful cancerous 
tumour of the jaw, and, hearing of Neyoor, has come 
across the Ghauts into Travancore in the hope of finding 
relief. The tumour has been removed, and he is now 
rapidly convalescing. Next him is a small boy who, 
whilst playing, fell from his big brother's back and 
sustained a compound fracture of the arm. He is a bright, 
cheery little fellow, and as his wounds have been healing 
he has been storing his memory with passages of Scripture. 
In the next bed is a man who entered the hospital a raw 
heathen, having no religion, but a dread of demons. He 
has long been sick, and his wounds have taken long 
to heal, but this has not been wholly a loss to him, for he 
has learnt so much about God's love that he is unwilling 
to go back to his old life, and is beginning to ask about 
baptism ■*. We might well spend all our time in this one 
ward with its fourteen beds, but must hurry on. Passing 
through operating, consulting, and dispensing rooms, we 
come to the female ward, which at present is as well filled 
as the men's ward, though this is not always quite the case. 
There is no time to question the women, but, stepping 
across a path, we enter a small house divided into two 
rooms, where well-to-do patients are received at a small 
charge if they wish for separate accommodation. At 
present one room is shared by a Brahman boy, whose eye 
has been removed on account of long-standing disease, and 
an old Sudra gentleman suffering from heart disease. 
Next door is a Christian girl and her mother, both 

1 This man has since been baptized with his wife and three children. 


recovering from fever — caste Hindus and non-caste Chris- 
tians for once living happily under the same roof. Across 
the compound stands the maternity ward, the value of 
which the women of the neighbourhood are slowly learning 
to appreciate ; and a short distance on either side are the 
two isolation wards, the whole place busy with the coming 
and going of attendants, patients, and friends. A few 
furlongs down the road is another block of buildings — 
the Leper Asylum, consisting of chapel, dispensary, 
catechist's house, &c., and forty small rooms for the 
patients. Every room has its occupant, whose food, 
medicine, clothing, and teaching are provided by an Irish 
friend through the Mission to Lepers. The work amongst 
the lepers was commenced in 1881S by Dr. Fry, and since 
that time thirty-seven of these poor sufferers have been 
baptized. On our way back to the bungalow we pass the 
Orphanage, where about twenty children live under the 
auspices of the medical mission. Some are the children 
of lepers who have been separated from their parents 
in the hope that they may thus be saved from the dis- 
ease ; others are the orphans of destitute parents who 
have ended their days in the hospital \' 

In addition to the central hospital at Neyoor there are 
also maintained a number of medical out-stations, each with 
its dispensary, and each regularly visited by competent 
medical attendants. 

We have traced in some detail the story of the Neyoor 
Hospital, because it is the most important and most 
successful medical mission maintained by the Society in 
India, and it is also a good example of medical mission 
work, carried on side by side with a strong evangelistic 
mission, and as a powerful auxiliary to, and in no sense 
a substitute for, directly religious work. But so slowly has 
the importance of properly maintaining medical missions 
been recognized by the churches in the West, that at the 
close of the nineteenth century they may still be considered 
as only in their infancy. In 1894 the London Missionary 

' Chronicle, 1897, p. 80. 


Society had upon its staff in India only four fully qualified 
medical missionaries, viz. one at Neyoor, one at Jammu- 
lamadugu, one at Mirzapur, and one, the only lady, Dr. 
Lucy Nicholas, at Jiaganj. This enumeration excludes 
the cases of qualified ladies who are wives of missionaries, 
and some trained nurses ; and by both these classes much 
good medical work has been done. It also takes no notice 
of the enormous number of simple medical cases attended 
to by missionaries in the ordinary course of their work 
where no skilled assistance is available. 

This comparative neglect has been due to no fault of 
the missionaries. In season and out of season they have 
urged the value, the importance, and the pressing needs 
of this work upon the home authorities and the home 
churches. It has found a prominent place also in every 
Conference of Indian Missionaries. That held at Ootaca- 
mund in 1858 passed three resolutions urging upon the 
churches the great need for and importance of this service. 
At the Allahabad Conference in 1872-3, part of the 
third day was given up to the discussion of medical mis- 
sions, and such questions as how home objections to 
medical missions were to be removed, how far Govern- 
ment aid to hospitals obviated the need for them, the best 
means of extending them, and other kindred topics were 
discussed. The day for such discussions has long passed. 
Although the old objections are still sometimes heard, they 
are maintained by no competent students or observers of 
missions. The opinions with which the century closes are 
rather that medicine and surgery, practised by men and 
women in whose hearts the flame of Christ's love is burn- 
ing, are very sure and very ready entrances into dark 
heathen hearts. 

' " Do you mind telling me," said Dr. Clarke, of Amritzar, 
to a friendly Hindu, "which of all our methods you fear the 
most?" "Why should I put weapons into the hands of 
the enemy?" replied the Hindu. "But I will tell you. 
We do not greatly fear your schools ; we need not send 
our children. We do not fear your books ; for we need 


not read them. We do not much fear your preaching; 
we need not listen. But we dread your women, and 
we dread your doctors ; for your doctors are winning our 
hearts and your women are winning our homes, and 
when our hearts and our homes are won, what is there 
left of us ? " ' 

[Authorities. — LeUers, Official Reports and Annual Reports; Alcmoir of 
the Rev. C. Leitch, by David Smith, D. D., 1856; Memoirs of Thomas Smith 
Thomson, by I. H. Hacker, 1SS7.] 



Missionaries of every church and society working in 
India recognize the importance and the difficulty of Chris- 
tianizing the girls and the women. Until female agency 
began to be extensively employed it was difficult to gain 
access in any real and effective way to the girls and the 
women. Still, great progress in this department has 
already been made, and in no other Indian field of 
Christian enterprise are the signs more hopeful at the 
close of the nineteenth century. 

Woman's work in India is really as extensive and as 
varied as the land itself, for there is no part of India where 
work for women may not be undertaken by women, nor is 
there any class of women, from the highest to the lowest, 
among whom the labours of women are not sadly needed. 
In the minds of many at home, work among the women of 
India is still limited to zenana work ; that is, the going 
from house to house among the women and girls of the 
upper and middle classes of native society, who are pre- 
vented by custom from leaving their homes, for the purpose 
of teaching them to read and write, and to tell them the 
good news of salvation through faith in our Lord Jesus 
Christ. But really a still more extensive and important 
work is being done through schools for girls. And some- 
thing has been attempted in the way of Female Medical 

I. Schools, The millions of female children found 
in India offer an immense field for labour. With them, 
probably more than with any other class, rests the 


hope of any Christian India that is to be. As they 
become the wives and the mothers of the men of India, 
they will give to them their first, deepest, and most lasting 
impressions. It is impossible to over-estimate the impor- 
tance of an early and wise Christian training for Hindu 
girls. Reading, writing, and arithmetic may be taught 
as well by Hindus or Muhammadans as by a Christian, if 
the requisite knowledge be possessed : but if a school 
lacks the influence of the presence and example of a 
true Christian teacher, it may well be doubted whether 
it is worth the time and means expended upon it. If 
in mission girls' schools the services of trained and godly 
native women cannot be secured, missionary ladies them- 
selves ought to control the work and give as much as 
possible a Christian tone to the school. 
/■ Almost as soon as mission stations were established in 
India schools for girls were opened. But for a long period 
j these had little or no influence over high-caste girls. They 
f were either small schools for the children of converts or 
were attended only by girls of the lower-middle classes ; 
or else they were boarding schools for famine orphans, 
and for children who had been entrusted by their parents 
to the care of the missionaries. Almost, if not all. the 
female schools referred to in the various reports prior to 
1 860 were of this class. In India public opinion and 
custom from time immemorial have always been hostile 
to female education, and the tyranny exerted by these is 
powerful and repulsive beyond belief to those who live 
in the Western world. So strong were these hostile forces 
that the Danish missionaries in the eighteenth century 
never succeeded in attracting other than the children of 
converts or of non-Hindus into their schools. 

Mrs. Mullens, the daughter of the Rev. A. F. Lacroix, born 
and reared in Calcutta, spoke Bengali with remarkable 
accuracy and grace. After her marriage in 1 845 she became 
more and more impressed with the need for female edu- 
cation, and for some means of carrying the Gospel to the 
secluded and ignorant hifrh-caste Hindu ladies. In a long 


letter dated June i, 1861, she describes f »89o.,ols 

in Calcutta and the neighbourhood whic ' ' .;n 

superintending: at Behala, Bhowanipore, Ft. ' ^ ^.vur. and 
Bokul Bagan. These were attended by seventy-seven girls. 
She writes: ' It is strange how the Behala school flourishes 
in the heart of that orthodox Brahman village ; the people 
are quite used to it, and like it, and even those who do 
not speak English call it the Lady School. The brothers 
of the girls, many of whom attend the Bhowanipore Insti- 
tution, often call to know how their sisters are getting on. 
I never go to the school without being struck by the 
strange inconsistencies of the Hindus. It is carried on at 
one end of the domestic chapel of the house, a mat screen 
merely separating the two ; on one side the idolatrous 
priest goes on with his incantations, while on the other is 
being read the holy Word of God.' 

Mrs. Mullens died Nov. 21, i(S6r, when Indian female 
education was only just coming into existence as an 
organized and well-supported mode of missionary labour, 
and when zenana visitation was still in its infancy. The 
rapid growth of female education is indicated, so far as 
statistics can make it plain, by the following figures : — 

' How female education has advanced in late years, 
after its long struggle with opposing influences, may be 
briefly stated for the glory of God, the honour of Christian 
ladies, and a fine illustration of the power of Christian 
beneficence to triumph over difficulties and to confer 
blessings. Even in 1855, the number of girls being 
taught was not more than 1,000 or 1,200 in a population 
of 20 millions ; and in the presidencies of Madras and 
Bombay, it being assumed that a somewhat larger number 
were at school, " there would only be 5.000 or 6,000 
females under tuition in a total Indian female population 
of from 80 to 100 millions, or one girl out of about 15,000 
females \" 

'The earliest and most detailed report of the progress 

1 Po] er read before the General Conference of Bengal Missionaries in 
December, 1855, by the Rev. J. Fordyce. 


of ^ °^ ^"y Ch^le education was made by Dr. Mullens 
income the wivejn in 1861 :— 

^1 crive ff 



Day Schools 

185 . 



8,919 . 

• 1^,057 

Boarding Schools 

86 . 



2,374 • 

• 3.912 

' At the latter date Government schools were seventy-one, 
with 2,545 scholars. 

'From this time education in all its forms has spread, 
but most markedly in zenanas, among the upper classes 
of society, though the immense numbers yet without 
any instruction seems to dwarf what progress already 
is made. For instance, in 1870-1, out of 26,000,000 boys 
and girls who ought to have been at school, only i,ico,ooo 
received any education worthy of the name, and of these 
only 50,000 were girls, 22,000 being in schools belonging 
to Government. The rest were cared for chiefly by 
Christian missionaries, with the aid of small grants ^. 

'The following table, from the Census Report of 1891, 
gives a general summary of the educational state of nine- 
tenths of India : — 

Total. Males. Females. 

Learning . 3,195,220 . 2,997,558 . 197,662 

Literate . 12,097,530 . 11,554,035 . 543=495 

Illiterate . 246,546,176 . 118,819,408 . 127,726,768 

Total . 261,838,926 . 133,371,001 . 128,467,925 

' It is to the honour of the Missionary Societies that they 
have been, in every instance, the pioneers of female educa- 
tion and its most active workers in every department ; 
and in no sphere of evangelistic effort have they advanced 
more rapidly, as the following tables will show : — 

1 ' Government Education in India,' by Dr. George Smith, in the Female 
Evangelist for April, 1872. 





Foreign and Eurasian Agents . 

370 • 


Native Christian 

^?>1 ■ 

• 3^^7^ 

Non-Christian . . . . 



Day Schools . . . . 

664 . 

. 1-507 

Scholars . . . . . 

24,078 . 

• 62,414 


2,905 . 

. 1,784 


1,300 . 

• 40,513' 

One of the most noticeable developments of the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century in the Indian mission- 
field has been the enormous increase in female missionaries, 
fully equipped and trained, in the number of female native 
teachers and Bible-women, and in manifold special forms 
of Christian work among native women. During the first 
eighty years of its history, that is up to and including 
1875, the Society had placed upon its list, apart from the 
wives of missionaries, only ten fully accredited female 
missionaries. Of these names, one appears in 1827, two 
in 1864, three in 1865, one in 1867, one in 1869, and two in 
1875. We have noted elsewhere the development of ladies' 
missionary work in 1876 and 1877, and the formation of 
a ladies' committee for its supervision. The Report for 
1891 states that in India alone there were at work 
eighteen ladies, as against six in 1881, and at the same 
time notes : ' This exceptional increase in one branch of 
workers indicates a remarkable development of work 
among Hindu women. The progress of female education 
during the last decade has been phenomenal. The workers 
in the chief centres of Indian life have not been able to 
overtake the opportunities of not simply secular education, 
but also and especially Bible teaching for women in 
Hindu homes.' 

II. Zenana Work. The Rev. E. Storrow, in his sug- 
gestive, comprehensive, and instructive book entitled Our 

1 Statistical Tables of Protestant Missions in India for 1890. 
II. R 


Indian Sisters^, has given a clear and useful sketch of the 
origin of zenana visitation : — 

' The earliest mission schools were intended for both 
sexes and all castes and classes ; but increased knowledge 
and experience convinced the missionaries that prejudice 
was far too strong for their good intentions, and their 
schools were left almost entirely to boys belonging to the 
inferior castes. When it became known that, whilst educa- 
tion was greatly valued for boys, there was a deep prejudice 
against it for girls, and that this was but one feature of 
the degradation and unhappy condition of their sex, the 
desire became strong to instruct and elevate them in some 
practicable way. The construction of society and the 
prejudices everywhere dominant, alike among rich and 
poor, high caste and low, made this most difficult. They 
could preach, but the women were not present to listen. 
They conversed with men, but few opportunities were 
allowed them to do so with women. They published 
books and tracts, but not one woman in 20,000 could read, 
even if a Christian publication could have been placed in 
their hands. It may seem strange that zenana visitation 
was not thought of as a means of reaching the most secluded 
and influential class of women, but a long leavening process 
was necessary to make that practicable, and far into this 
century the force of custom, the seclusiveness of zenana 
life, the distrust of the men, the fear of the women, and 
the dread of intercourse with Christians, prevented the idea 
from being even entertained. 

' But Christian women were not indifferent, and brooded 
sorrowfully over the sad state of their native sisters. And 
they did what they could. They formed schools wherever 
practicable for Eurasian and native Christian girls, and to 
these Hindus and Muhammadans were usually welcome. 
But, since they could induce ie\w to attend, they established 
boarding-schools and orphan asylums, into which were 
received the few children offered by their relatives, and 

' I'ublished by the Religious Tract Society. The quotations here given are 
from chapter xiii. 


now and then the many who were left orphans and home- 
less by terrible famines. These, however, were neither 
satisfactory in themselves, nor did they reach any con- 
siderable part of the community. The board of each 
child cost little, but the general expenses of a school were 
considerable, and the girls and boys thus brought up 
seldom exhibited marked features of energy, strength of 
character, and self-reliance. They were for the most part 
exotics, not hardy plants ; nor did such schools influence, 
either by their character or number, the vast populations 
surrounding them. Bazaar day schools, therefore, were 
formed in towns where missionaries resided, and common 
schools for girls in villages where their influence extended. 

' These schools, however, though few and small, were 
educational in a wide and general sense. They were in 
every instance the outcome of the zeal and love of 
missionaries' wives and their friends. They drew the 
attention of the high and low castes alike to Christianity 
and its principles. They exhibited the mindful, disin- 
terested zeal of the missionaries for the poor, the ignorant, 
and the despised. They conveyed some knowledge of 
Christian truth and doctrine, and the ability to read and 
write, to a few in various towns in many Indian provinces. 
They helped to familiarize the people with missionary 
methods, and some aspects of European life and policy, 
and they assisted to make Christian people more conscious 
of the degradation and dense ignorance of Hindu women, 
and the peculiar difficulties to be encountered in reaching 

' The honour of advancing beyond individual efforts in 
small separate schools for united action, and to secure 
higher efficiency in teachers and teaching, is claimed by 
Dr. Duff for some young ladies associated with the Baptist 
Missionary Society in Calcutta. In April, 1819, an address 
was issued setting forth the actual condition of women in 
Bengal, and proposing the formation of a school for the 
education of Hindu women. This led to the formation of 
an association, under the title of the Calcutta Female 

R 3 


Juvenile Society for the Education of Native Females. 
But for nearly twelve months, notwithstanding the most 
strenuous exertions, the number of scholars did not exceed 
eight. Still the promoters of the scheme went on. At 
the end of two years the number amounted, to thirty-two, 
and in three more years the schools had increased to six, 
in which were 160 scholars. "On December 14, 1823, 
was held the anniversary of the society. And that must 
ever prove a memorable day in the history of feminine 
native education, as it was the first time that the establish- 
ment of native female schools of any description could be 
spoken of as in the remotest degree practicable, without 
opening the windows of incredulity and drawing down 
showers of ridicule and contemptuous scorn ^." 

' But though this was the first combined effort in behalf 
of female education, it was symptomatic of a deepening 
interest, and was overshadowed by another society destined 
to accomplish great and unexpected results. In September, 
1 81 9, the Calcutta School Society was founded under in- 
fluential auspices, and was intended to unite Europeans 
and natives in a combined movement. Its leading design 
was "to assist and improve schools, organized and supported 
by the natives themselves ; to establish new schools ; to 
improve the general system of education ; and to diffuse 
useful knowledge of every description among the inhabitants 
of India, but especially within the province of Bengal." In 
the course of inquiry previous to active operations, it was 
ascertained that in the district around Calcutta, containing 
at least 750,000 people, there were only 4,180 children in 
the native schools, and that with scarcely an exception 
Hindu girls were wholly uneducated. Further investiga- 
tion brought out the appalling truth that for the entire 
mass of the female population there was no system of 
education whatever, and that out of forty million females 
then supposed to be in British India, probably not 400, 
or one in ioo,oco, could read or write, and of these the 
greater number had been educated by the wives of 

* Dr. Duff in The Indian Female Evangelist, vol. i. p. 59. 


missionaries ^. The society received considerable aid from 
missionaries. In the report of the London Missionary- 
Society for 1821, we read: "It is well known that the 
Calcutta School Society is vigorously employed in the 
establishment and support of schools. The Directors are 
happy to state that the operations of the society are likely 
to prove of the greatest importance, and have interested 
themselves very warmly in behalf of the native female 
population of that country, with a view to extend to them 
the advantages of education. With a view to promote 
a design so closely connected with the ultimate success of 
missionary operations in Hindustan, the Directors have 
committed to the disposal of Mr. Townley, one of its 
missionaries, the sum of i^i25, to be appropriated as he 
shall deem proper, toward the encouragement of native 
female education in India." 

' The society had influential friends, and acted with 
vigour. It applied to the British and Foreign School 
Society " to select and send from England a well-qualified 
lady to institute schools for native girls." Miss Cook 
fortunately was selected, and reached Calcutta at the end 
of 1 821. The issue proved that no more suitable agent 
could have been found, for she won for native female edu- 
cation an interest and enthusiasm of the highest value ; 
and as a system and a recognized department of missionary 
education of the highest importance, it dates from that 

' A significant difficulty had to be overcome at the very 
commencement of her labours. To interest natives in the 
work of the School Society, it was stipulated that its 
managing committee should consist of two-thirds Europeans 
and their descendants, and one-third natives of India. But 
it soon appeared that the latter had no desire to engage in 
any general plan for female education. On this the 
Corresponding Committee of the Church Missionary Society 
undertook to promote the special purposes of Miss Cook's 
mission. Thus her labours for many years were conducted 

1 TJie Indian Female Evangelist , vol. i. p. 16. 


under the auspices of that Society, and by the end of 
the year 1823 the number of schools had increased to 
twenty-two, and of scholars to between three and four 

'The influence of this movement was great. It en- 
couraged the formation of new schools, and suggested 
improvements in those already existing ; and in the course 
of a few years every mission in Calcutta, and not a few 
elsewhere in Bengal, had one or more girls' schools. 

' Even natives now began to be interested in the 
question, though it was much more in a theoretical than 
practical manner. A few Hindus of rank, observant of 
English society, and among the first to be powerfully 
affected by an English education, saw some of the evils 
afflicting native life, and had some glimpses of a possible 
remedy, but were, with the rarest exceptions, too weak to 
apply it, or were restrained by the hostile prejudices and 
usages prevalent. Here and there, however, was one who 
sympathized with the new movement, privately himself 
instructed his wife, or for a time engaged the services of 
a daily governess, until feminine pertinacity or social 
opposition closed the door. But no school for respectable 
or high-caste girls existed anywhere, nor indeed ever seems 
to have existed, though it is stated that what appears 
a school for girls is sculptured on the rock caves of Ajunta. 
Neither for some years before and after the writer's arrival 
in India, in 1848, was there a single zenana in Calcutta 
open to any lady missionary. But two ideas became clear 
to the missionaries, and it was in their sphere of influence 
only that, up to the middle of the century, any practical 
steps were taken to educate Hindu women. The first was 
that the education of the men must precede the education 
of the women ; the other, that women of the higher castes 
could not be reached by schools, but by family or house- 
to-house instruction. 

' But though these ideas were seething in some minds, 
it was Dr. Thomas Smith who first gave voice and form 
to the latter idea. In a powerful article in the Calcutta 


CJiristian Observer for 1840, on Hindu Female Education, 
he declared, "If it be impossible to get the daughters of 
the higher classes to attend schools, then we must teach 
them without requiring their attendance at school. If the 
men of India will not permit their female relations to come 
to us for instruction, we must send our teachers to them." 

' It will seem surprising to those unacquainted with the 
state of Hindu society in the middle of the century, but 
less so to those who are, that these suggestions took no 
practical form for some time, though the general question 
of female education engaged the attention of many minds. 
But it was not until the beginning of 1855 that zenana 
teaching on any well-conceived and definite form began by 
arrangements made by the Rev. J. and Mrs. Fordyce. 
This delay is easily explained. It was caused by the 
intense reluctance of Hindus, even when educated, to set 
aside the seclusion of the zenana by the admission of 
Englishwomen, however educated and refined ; and of 
Europeans, who were so wedded to the school system, 
and so impressed with the difficulty of reaching zenana 
ladies, that it was only after much delay and abortive 
efforts in the school direction that a more excellent way 
was adopted. 

' In January, 1 853, the Rev. John Fordyce had arrived in 
Calcutta to superintend the Free Church Female Institu- 
tion, and intercourse with Dr. Smith and his own sagacious 
observation soon convinced him that zenana visitation was 
the true way to reach the higher classes, and make female 
education effective and popular. But the difficulties were 
great and peculiar. Even when the idea of Mr. Fordyce 
and Dr. Smith was considered by the Calcutta Missionary 
Conference, nearly all the members, many of them men of 
wide experience, accounted the idea to be impracticable ; 
nevertheless Mr. Fordyce persevered, greatly aided by the 
wide influence among native gentlemen of Dr. Smith. He 
lectured on "The Emancipation of Women in India"; 
wrote " Fly-leaves for Indian Homes " ; visited native 
gentlemen, that he might overcome their scruples, learn 


their objections, and gain their support ; collected sub- 
scriptions, advanced the necessary funds, organized a small 
staff of teachers ; obtained permission for them to visit 
regularly some families, and the promise of payment for 
instruction given. Mr. Fordyce writes, "As Miss Toogood 
and Rebecca, the native teacher, left the house to begin 
these visitations, I said to Mrs. Fordyce, ' This is the 
beginning of a new era for India's daughters.' It had 
been a subject of much thought, consultation, and prayer, 
and we expected great results, but the rapidity of the 
extension had gone beyond our expectation. We had no 
opposition, but few encouraged us, and many thought that 
we were attempting impossibilities^." 

' We have here given the true history of the zenana 
movement, since its origin has been ascribed to at least 
four persons. A vague idea of some such method was no 
doubt brooding in many minds. The native gentlemen 
who thought on the subject knew that family instruction 
alone would be feasible ; but they were silent. In the few 
instances where instruction was desired, it was obtained 
through the services of a daily governess. A few English 
ladies, as Mrs. Tracey in Benares, Miss Bird at Goruckpore 
and Calcutta, Mrs. Sale in Eastern Bengal, Mrs. Mullens 
in Calcutta, and probably others, were zealous for female 
education, and had given instruction, each probably in two 
or more zenanas prior to 1853. From personal know- 
ledge the writer can state how zealously and efficiently 
Mrs. Mullens did this from about 1850 to the time of her 
death. But the honour of erecting zenana teaching into 
a system, and of popularizing it by public advocacy and 
efficient practical organization, belongs to Mr. Fordyce 
and Dr. Thomas Smith, the latter being the original 
advocate of the idea in 1840, and the most zealous helper 
of Mr. Fordyce.' 

The letter from Mrs. Mullens quoted above contains a very 
earl}'- reference to zenana visitation : ' We have four zenanas, 

i * lVoi?ic7i's Work in Heathen Lands : After many Days, by the Rev. John 
Fordyce, late of Calcutta and Simla. 


visited regularly once a week in the afternoons from two 
to four, and others visited occasionally. A zenana means 
simply that part of the house which is devoted to the use 
of the ladies. First, there is Mrs. Sale's zenana. Mrs. Sale 
was the wife of a Baptist missionary^ and she kindly 
introduced me to some of her families before she went to 
England for her health. This is visited by Mrs. Murray, 
myself, my daughter, and taught daily by a native Christian 
teacher, who also instructs eight other ladies in an ad- 
joining house. In these two houses twenty ladies get daily 
instruction from a Christian native, and weekly from 
ourselves. Our second zenana is at Entally, where eight 
ladies are taught ; and the fourth is in the house of Kalee 
Dass. The third is at Poddopokur, and here from thirty 
to fifty come from adjoining houses to read and work and 
look at the strange ladies.' 

In another letter a few weeks later Mrs. Mullens narrates 
some of the hindrances she and her helpers met in the 
discharge of their duty : — 

'We met to-day with our first repulse in zenana 
teaching ; it came, not from the ladies, of course, nor 
even from the master of the house we were in, but from 
a jealous old uncle, a bigoted Hindu, who is rich and 
powerful enough to make the family unwilling to offend 
him. We were seated in their verandah, as usual, sur- 
rounded by at least twenty eager learners, Mrs. Murray 
and my daughter busy with the needlework, and I with 
the reading lessons, when suddenly a harsh voice was heard 
below stairs, vehement and loud in the extreme, and so 
choked with anger that the only words that I could dis- 
tinguish were, " What, again ! Again ! After all I have 
said, these missionary ladies are here again ! " The effect 
was electrical. Our frightened scholars slid away and hid 
themselves in all parts of the house. It seems the old 
gentleman had warned them before, but they fondly be- 
heved he had gone out to collect his rents ; and so he had, 
but his carriage had driven back to the door for the express 
purpose, as it seemed, to detect them tasting of the tree 


of knowledge — a tree forbidden to them, alas ! although 
their minds were hungering for mental aliments. The old 
schoolmistress alone stood her ground ; apologized to the 
angry man ; said it should not happen again ; motioned to 
us to remain silent (which I was not sorry to comply with), 
and finally persuaded him to go away for to-day. The 
women then returned one by one, and a council was held. 
The teaching in that house was over, that was clear, but 
the scholars were not going tamely to submit ; they had 
begun to learn, and they meant to continue ; that, they 
said, was their determination. I replied, " Well, as your 
laws forbid your coming to me, it rests with you to find 
another schoolroom ; I cannot help you in this matter." 
Then, with a good deal of hesitation, one of them, named 
Koddome, suggested, " I live a very little way from this, 
and come here through a private passage ; I have an 
indulgent father, who might perhaps allow the teaching 
to go on in our house, and then most of these ladies could 
come there through the same private passage ; but then 
the room is very small and inconvenient, I fear you will 
not be able to bear the closeness and the heat." We were 
considerably relieved : if we could only keep our beloved 
scholars we could bear anything, so I told her ; and she 
added joyfully, "Oh, then I shall use all my influence 
with my father to let you come." Our best pupils here 
are two young Brahman sisters, who also come from an 
adjoining house ; they are richly laden with jewels. I 
turned to them and said, "Why don't you invite us to 
your commodious dwelling yonder, and let us hold 
the school there?" "Oh!" they replied, "how gladly 
would we do so ; but our husbands won't hear of it, they 
say that it is bad enough that we are learning to read, 
they won't have their own house turned into a school for 
Christianity." ' 

The constantly increasing importance of zenana agency 
has led to the employment of many Bible-women. They 
are Christian women with some knowledge of the Bible and 
of Christian truth, and an adequate amount of intelligence, 


zeal, and tact. Their primary duty is to visit the houses or 
small groups of houses into which towns and even villages 
are usually divided, to sell portions of Scripture, read or 
narrate Bible incidents, explain to the women the main 
features of the Gospel, sing hymns, and give instructive 
and interesting information. To native women, ignorant, 
inquisitive, solitary, imaginative, despised, and with abun- 
dant leisure, such visits are most welcome, and afford fine 
opportunities for telling of heavenly things. 

A few examples from the increasingly rich field of 
Christian influence over India's daughters, which illus- 
trate the varied nature of the services rendered and the 
widely scattered fields in which they are so faithfully 
discharged, may fitly close this chapter. Here is one from 
Calcutta : — 

'Another baptism has been that of a young Hindu 
woman of twenty-six years of age. She is the married 
daughter of a well-known inhabitant of Bhowanipore. Her 
husband disappeared some nine years ago, and has not 
since been heard of. She had a pleasant home in her 
father's house, and was the special favourite of her aunt, 
who was very kind to her. She was allowed to receive 
private lessons from a neighbour who had business in the 
house, and who was a pupil of the Institution a few years 
ago. When she had made some progress in reading and 
writing, he chose the Bengali Bible as the textbook from 
which to teach her ; and though he has not had the courage 
to follow Christ, or indeed to come to any member of the 
mission, yet he inspired her with such knowledge as led her 
to seek baptism with great earnestness. She managed to 
leave her house and come to the Ladies' Zenana Home. 
Her father was told of what she had done, and he sent 
some relatives to bring her away. This they found to be 
impossible, and for a long time even her aunt was unsuc- 
cessful. At last, allured by various promises, she was 
persuaded to go back, and as her caste had not been 
broken, she was received ; but in about a fortnight she 
came again, and on this occasion she was left unmolested, 


and has been baptized. Her case is a ren"iarkable instance 
of the indirect results of our educational work, for here 
the truth found its way through an old pupil into a house 
that was shut against all zenana visitation, and where the 
girls had never been allowed to attend the mission school, 
though it is close at hand. Thus the seed was sown apart 
altogether from any direct Christian effort.' 

Here is another from Nagercoil : — 

' In the various districts in which our sixteen Bible- 
women are at work, there are many who are really — 
though secretly — followers of Christ. They do not leave 
their homes and join the Christian community, their names 
are not in the church list, nor are they reckoned among the 
number of Christian adherents ; but we believe that they 
belong none the less to Christ's Church, and have their 
names written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Although for 
the most part the women are quite indifferent about spiritual 
things, their one thought being how far they can surpass 
others in their display of jewels, there are some who before 
ever they hear of Christianity are crushed with the burden 
of sin and are earnest seekers after God. There is a woman 
living in Kottar who has grown old and grey during many 
a thousand miles' search after salvation. She had been a 
pilgrim to the Ganges, Benares, Papavinasham, Kurtalam, 
and many other sacred places ; but no peace rewarded the 
long journeys of fatigue. At last she settled down here so 
that she might go monthly to Cape Comorin to bathe in its 
sacred waters. But neither did this bring the desired for- 
giveness. It was a long and sad tale of disappointed hope 
that she told to Santhyai and Ambudial, the two zenana 
teachers visiting in that district. But they were able to 
tell her of a more excellent way — the Way of Life, which 
is Jesus Christ. She said she had sought salvation through 
her own gods until she despaired of their ever giving it : 
she would now willingly make a trial of this new way. 
The Bible-women taught her a short prayer, " Jesus, my 
God, my Life, I am a poor sinner, save me!" She has a 
different tale to tell now, for she is filled with joy and 


peace. She delights to speak of the great blessing that 
has come to her, and says that when she communes with 
God she seems to be lifted up and surrounded by light, so 
that she is able to understand many truths hitherto hidden 
from her.' 

As it has always been found very difficult to get any 
Christian hold upon Muhammadans, the following example 
may be instructive : — 

' A merchant from a village near visits Nagercoil to sell 
cloth. In passing through the streets he often noticed the 
superior appearance of our Christian women, and how 
favourably they compared with their Hindu and Muham- 
madan sisters. The neatness and cleanliness of our Bible- 
women particularly struck him, and he asked two of them, 
Yesudial and Gnanai, whom he had often seen visiting 
a village near his own, to come and teach his wife to read. 
This they willingly did, but for the first few days were 
greatly opposed by the neighbours, the men forming 
a crowd around the merchant's house, declaring in loud 
terms that the women of that village should not be taught. 
This continued for some days, the cloth merchant emphatic- 
ally insisting that his wife should be taught, let his neigh- 
bours say what they would. His opponents, seeing that 
further resistance was useless, themselves began to think 
that, after all, there might be some good in giving their 
wives and daughters a little education ; and one by one 
asked the Bible-women to teach in their houses, so that 
now no fewer than thirty-two women are learning. I paid 
a most pleasant visit to this village only a few days 
ago, and was greatly pleased with the wonderful progress 
they had made in the space of a few months. Manry 
who could not even read the alphabet six months before 
were now able to read with fluency passages of moderate 

As an example of good work accomplished, and at 
the same time a prophecy of much more to be done 
in the second century, we give the experience of 
that veteran Indian lady missionary, Mrs. Baylis Thomson, 


in the important and prosperous Neyoor district of 
Travancore : — 

' My band of thirty zenana agents were educated in 
boarding schools. Many are widows. It is the work of 
the Bible-woman to read the Scriptures in the homes of 
the heathen and render assistance in times of sickness. It 
was not till 1886 the need arose for zenana teachers. 
They were necessary to continue instruction in their homes 
to our pupils from the caste schools, who were removed at 
such early ages. This led to a desire on the part of their 
mothers to be taught. Thirty years ago this would have 
been impossible, on account of the bitter hatred to 
Christians, as low caste, and the prejudice against female 

'When I returned to Neyoor in 1889^ I found this 
prejudice had given way to an eager desire to have 
the same knowledge as their daughters. The movement 
spread from village to village, so that now we have 
more than one thousand heathen pupils in over a 
hundred villages. I cannot but see the hand of the Lord 
in this. He would have the Gospel preached to every 
creature, and how can these secluded women hear unless 
we go to them? Our one aim is to teach them to read, 
and as each masters the Third Lesson-book, I give her 
a Tamil Testament. 

' Of the 140 villages we visit, some few are large towns, 
others hamlets with two or three dozen houses. Then, 
again, we may go three miles in the burning sun, over 
rough ground, along the edge of high banks between 
paddy-fields, or across dry water-courses, to take the Gospel 
to the establishment of a rich Sudra landowner. Around 
Neyoor, our head station, there are about forty such villages 
within a radius of four miles ; but so greatly has the work 
extended that I have been obliged to form seven centres 
in the district. I put up in a small chapel or travellers' 
bungalow. I find the jinricksha very serviceable, as it 
will go over comparatively level ground where there is no 
road ; but where this is not practicable, I resort to the old 


mode of travelling by palanquin chair and bearers. Zenana 
agents live in or near the villages. They start off in the 
early morning and prepare their pupils for my visit. Often 
the native pastor, evangelist, and other mission agents accom- 
pany us. The work is hard, especially as (except in rare 
cases) each woman has to be taught individually ; she will 
not meet in her neighbour's house. But hundreds have 
been taught to read by the indefatigable labours of our 
zenana agents. 

' Within recent years, the native Government has esta- 
blished large schools for girls. These scholars, too, we 
seek in their homes, and give them a Testament. During 
these seven years we have given the Word of God to 
between six and seven hundred heathen women. The 
leaven is working. Many are secret Christians, but dare 
not confess their faith. The whole of Hindu thought is 
being changed through the influence of Christianity. This 
was strikingly shown a few months back. I was on a 
platform in South India, and took the opportunity, while 
waiting for the train, to speak to some of the travellers. 
I noticed an elderly Brahman edging on his friend. On 
inquiring if he wished to speak to me, he came up. Cour- 
teously salaaming, he said : " Amnidl, I wish to give you 
many, many salaams, and say that you are a great blessing 
to our country." I do not think that man had ever seen 
me before, but it shows with what a friendly spirit even 
the high castes look on missionaries. 

III. Female Medical Missions are now recognized as 
an important auxiliary to Christian work among the women 
of India. But this involves that the competent medical 
knowledge and skill be accompanied by earnest Christian 
devotion, otherwise the missionary may be lost in the mere 
practitioner. Thousands of women and children, both 
among the rich and the poor, in towns and in villages, die 
annually through want of proper medical or surgical treat- 
ment. Ignorance, custom, and prejudice have combined to 
prevent them from receiving this from medical men, even 


when it has been available, and the means not wanting to 
secure it. But little or nothing had been done up to 1895 
by the Society in this promising and fruitful department of 
work through the agency of fully qualified lady doctors. 
Only one such was at work in India in 1895, Dr. Lucy 
Nicholas at Jiaganj ^ 

* The whole question uf Medical Missions is dealt with in Chapter V'll, 

[Authorities. — Letters, Official and Annual Reports; Our hidian Sisters, 
by E. Storrow ; and the Reports of the Conferences at Calcutta in 1882, and 
l^oinbay in 1S92.] 



The crucial test of the success or failure of Christian 
missions in India lies in the state of the Native Church. 
But it is yet far too early to attempt to apply this test as 
a rigid standard of the success or failure. It is true that 
a century has passed since the modern missionary enter- 
prise began in Bengal, but it is not unlikely that another 
century may pass before this great and complex question 
is ripe for consideration. The more closely the missionary 
history of India is studied the more complex do its prob- 
lems appear. The influence of Christianity goes out far 
beyond any circles of life and thought that are embraced 
by the term Native Church. The devout disciple of the 
Lord Jesus fully recognizes the many-sided civilizing and 
enlightening power of Christianity. He sees that just as 
certainly as the iceberg melts as it drifts slowly south- 
wards, so certainly, if slowly, Christianity is destroying 
caste, revolutionizing the ideas of the Hindus, undermining 
the foundations of its temples, and opening the way for 
a commercial prosperity unrivalled and undreamed of in 
the strange past of that strange continent. But when allow- 
ance to the full has been made for all these factors in the 
problem, when ample time has been allowed for the estab- 
lishment and development of the work, Christianity in 
India must ultimately stand or fall by its success in building 
up, or by its failure to create a living, active, self-supporting 
Hindu Native CJinrcJi. All that has up to the present 
been achieved by all the Societies, separately and collec- 

II. S 


tively, cannot be considered as more than a preparation 
for the great Christian achievement of the future — an 
enthusiastic, aggressive, Christ-hke Church, Hindu in senti- 
ment, in modes of thought, in presentation of theological 
truth, which shall present Christ to the millions of India, 
not as the God of her conqueror and master, but as the 
loving Saviour who has won the devotion and the conse- 
cration of her own ablest sons. 

Not a few of the supporters of missions in the West are 
impatient for this result, and restless with an impatience 
that can only spring from ignorance of India. They point 
to a century of labour, to the army of European mission- 
aries, to the tens of thousands of pounds annually spent, 
and they affirm that there must be something radically 
wrong in a work and in a system, which, after so much 
effort, have so far failed to set up a strong, vigorous, self- 
supporting Native Church. But this view can be seriously 
entertained only by those who fail to give their true weight 
to important facts. 

1. Wherever any conspicuous success in the way of 
influencing large numbers and communities has up to the 
present been secured, this has taken place among people of 
the lower castes. These classes have from time immemo- 
rial been in a position of subservience, ignorance, and 
degradation. They are wholly unfamiliar with the idea of 
the management of affairs. They have been accustomed 
to follow where others lead. It will take generations for 
them to acquire that form of self-organization and self- 
management which seem to us so simple a thing. 

2. The classes who could guide and organize the Church 
are still outside the Christian Church. When they in any 
large numbers do enter the Church, the whole aspect of the 
case will be altered. At present, although many of them 
sympathize with Christian teaching, they are kept aloof, 
partly by the terrible social ostracism that they would 
have to endure, and by the fact that there is no kindred 
community in the Christian Church which they can 


3. The Hindu nature and character are such as to render 
the energetic and independent action needful for a strong 
Native Church very difficult and irksome to them. The 
tendency of the Hindu is to remain satisfied with things 
as they are, and natives are both unwilling and unable 
very often to take any strong initiative. 

Since 1868 great consideration has been given by the 
governing bodies and by the missionaries of all the great 
Societies to the development of a self-supporting, self- 
governing Native Church. Hitherto in the areas under 
the care of the London Missionary Society the progress 
has been by no means equal to what the friends of Christian 
missions in India desire. This is due to obvious causes 
which fully explain the delay. Some of these are pointed 
out above, others are set forth in what follows. But the 
reader, in considering this most important question, should 
bear in mind two general considerations : — 

I. In relation to the Native Church the London Mis- 
sionary Society occupies a position quite different from that 
of the other great Societies. The well-known ' fundamental 
principle ' stated that ' the Society^s design is not to send 
Presbyterianism, Independency, Episcopacy, or any other 
form of Church order and government (about which there 
may be difference of opinion among serious persons), but 
the glorious Gospel of the blessed God to the heathen.' 
Consequently the missionaries of the Society have always 
felt it to be their duty to allow the native Christian com- 
munities large liberty in dealing with all questions of 
Church organization. The adoption of this ' fundamental 
principle ' was one of the strong influences which led to the 
formation of the Church Missionary Society, many Episco- 
palians who were willing to co-operate with the Society 
recognizing that as soon as Christian communities gathered 
from the heathen were ready to be organized into churches, 
the question whether they were to be Episcopalian, Inde- 
pendent, or other must arise. And as a matter of fact 
the great Societies have organized their Indian churches 
on the lines of their own polity. The great bulk of the 

S a 


London Missionary Society's agents have been Indepen- 
dent, and of the remainder almost the whole have been 
Presbyterian. The consequence of this has been that their 
mission churches cannot show the compactness of those 
connected with the Episcopalian and Wesleyan and Pres- 
byterian Societies. The Society has made no attempt in 
India, for example, to build up an Indian Congregational 
Church. But it has formed, wherever possible, native 
Christian churches, and these have almost necessarily, as 
the missionary influence is bound to be very considerable, 
been organized upon Congregational lines, with here and 
there a leaning towards Presbyterianism. In dealing with 
the Native Church in India, so far as the London Mis- 
sionary Society is concerned, this distinction must be 
kept in view. 

2. The terms ' pastor ' and ' preacher, evangelist and 
catechist,' convey to an English reader ideas that are not 
apphcable to the Native Church in India in its present 
condition. The native pastor is a highly trained Hindu, 
usually well acquainted with English, who presides over, 
preaches to, and manages generally the affairs of a Native 
Church. To the English reader the existence of a native 
pastor carries with it the idea of a Native Church sufficiently 
educated and trained and capable of judging affairs to be 
competent to manage its affairs. But though on the road 
towards independent government, neither Hindu pastors 
nor native churches yet approximate closely to what these 
terms convey to an English mind. 

The preachers and evangelists represent a lower grade 
who preach to their heathen countrymen, sometimes 
accompanying the missionary in bazaar preaching and in 
itinerating work, but often working alone, and sometimes 
in lonely stations far from the mission centres. The 
catechist is a somewhat lower grade of evangelist. India 
has, during the century, produced not a few men who have 
in these departments exhibited great capacity for effective 
and faithful service. 

Perhaps no document in the Society's archives could 


enable the reader to grasp better the condition of the 
pastorates, and consequently the strongest churches of the 
Native Church over the whole of South India, excepting 
Travancore, than a Special Report on the subject pre- 
sented by the South India District Committee at their 
annual business meeting in Coimbatore in 1893 : — 

' For several years past this committee has been deeply 
impressed with the fact that the native pastorates in 
connection with the South Indian mission stations have 
been unsatisfactory in their working. The cause which 
has led to this has been easily apparent. It is that native 
pastorates were pushed on to the churches before the 
churches were ready for them. Pastors of good education 
were appointed over immature churches. Neither pastor 
nor people understood properly the responsibilities of the 
new relationship. The pastor was practically permanent 
and practically uncontrolled. The churches felt but little 
interest in the matter. They were either indifferent or 
powerless, and they missed the guiding hand of the 
missionary, which they still needed. The whole step was 
premature, and thus the real consolidation of the churches 
was thrown back by many years. The chief objections 
to the system adopted are — 

'(1) The churches were far from self-supporting; and 
self-support is in our opinion an essential condition of 
self-control, conferring the right and keeping alive the 
interest. Most of our church members are poor, " not 
many rich are called." They might have been able to 
support a pastor of humble attainments and requiring no 
higher salary than the majority of themselves enjoyed ; 
but for various reasons it was thought advisable to appoint 
as pastors a more highly educated class of men, who 
require salaries considerably above the average of their 
congregations. Such pastors the churches are not able 
to support. Nor are they able to maintain in repair the 
church buildings erected by the Society in central stations, 
although they might have maintained such simple thatched 
or mud buildings as are in use for village churches. It is 


true that one or two churches ceased to receive aid from 
the funds of the Society, and were placed on the Hst of 
self-supporting churches ; but it should be known that 
these are self-supporting only in name, the pastor receiving 
his support mainly either from educational work or from 
the contributions of European friends. These churches 
show no sign of being really self-supporting for many 
years to come, and if a pastor of the present educated 
class were appointed to them, having no extraneous source 
of income, he could not live. 

' (2) Beside being non-self-supporting, the churches were 
otherwise unripe for self-control, a fact not surprising in 
a country quite unaccustomed to self-government. The 
churches include only a few members of the classes 
accustomed to the management of affairs. The better 
educated are generally in Government or mission employ, 
and therefore frequently transferred to distant towns, 
leaving the poor, dependent, and inexperienced to attend 
to church affairs. Even where this is not the case, our 
church members do not at all adequately realize that the 
conduct of affairs connected with their own spiritual 
well-being is one that demands the wisdom and the 
self-denial of their very best men as well as the interest 
and earnest prayers of every member of the church. 

'(3) Then, no provision was made for a change of 
pastorates, if the pastor grew careless or stale in his work, 
or if for any reason he and his congregation were to get 
out of touch with each other. It requires a most ex- 
ceptional man to keep himself fresh and vigorous, spiritually 
and mentally, while ministering through a long series of 
years to the same people. Our pastors in many instances 
got tired of preaching to the same people, and it is to be 
feared the people got tired of the pastors. If in England 
the need of occasional change of sphere for ministers is 
found necessary, surely it is equally desirable in India. 

' (4) Fixity of tenure brought another evil. As the 
pastor knew that there was no provision for his being 
transferred, there was a temptation to let things go soft 


and gently, if possible. Abuses were uncorrected and work 
was done perfunctorily. The Wesleyan system of periodical 
changes meets this difficulty under their constitution, but 
it was not available for the London Missionary Society 

' (5) Aided pastorates involve a system of dual control 
which does not work happily. The missionary, represent- 
ing the Directors, pays a part of the pastor's salary, and the 
church pays the rest. The limit at which responsibility 
ends on the missionary's side and begins on the church's 
side is not defined. Church officers, through indolence or 
want of courage, allow serious scandals to pass unrebuked. 
If the missionary then steps in, his interference is apt to be 
resented and his authority questioned. There are instances 
where for many years no case of misconduct whatsoever 
has been brought before the church or dealt with in any 
way, even though the pastor, if not the other church 
officers, were aware of flagrant instances of wrongdoing. 
There are other instances where native pastors, being 
practically free from control, have lent their sanction to 
practices which are calculated to bring grave discredit on 
the Christian Church. 

'The result of all this has been that the pastorates have 
not worked happily. This is not the fault of the churches ; 
it is simply a consequence of the pastorates being established 
before the churches had reached a suitable stage of develop- 
ment. Only two or three pastors now remain on their 
original standing. Some have reverted voluntarily to the 
position of ordained evangelists, and their churches have 
again come under the control of the missionary, with the 
happiest results. The Church Missionary Society has had 
the same experience as ourselves, and has had to retrace 
its steps. It has stopped the system of diminishing annual 
grants, and has again sent out European missionaries to 
superintend the pastorates. 

' Moreover, in the present state of the Native Church, we 
consider that it is a matter of much importance that 
missionaries should influence its members by frequent 


preaching or by pastoral contact, so as both to raise the 
spiritual tone of the members and to develop their 
missionary spirit. We would therefore recommend : — 

' (a) That no church be in future treated as self-supporting 
or have a native pastor, with the full responsibility of a 
pastorate, unless it is really and genuinely such, i. e. unless 
it can support its pastor and its ordinances without the aid 
of the Society or any contributions from PZuropeans. We 
regard this as a principle of much importance which ought 
not to be infringed. 

' {b) That in the meantime the missionary be considered 
the pastor, and with power to appoint ordained or un- 
ordained agents as assistant pastors, and to give them 
authority to administer the sacraments when necessary — 
the chief responsibility being in the hands of the missionary : 
that these assistant pastors be allowed to do as much as 
possible the pastor's work, on the understanding that the 
chief authority is vested in the missionary. The importance 
of giving authority for the administration of the sacraments 
to other than pastors is particularly great in the Tamil 
districts, as the practice of the early Tranquebar mission- 
aries has created a great misunderstanding on the subject. 

' [c) That any appointment of assistant pastor be subject 
to revision at the close of three years.' 

But our province is to record what has actually been 
achieved, and, with the statistics of the Hindu Native 
Church before him, no friend of Christian missions need 
be ashamed, whether he contemplates the number of the 
separate churches, or the quality of their leaders and 

I. The Growth of the Native Christian Com- 
munity IN India, J(S5i-i890. The growth of the native 
Protestant Christian community in India, excluding Ceylon 
and Burmah, is shown in the following table : — 



1 86 1 
187 J 

Native Christian 


Native Agents. 


Rate of 


Rate of 
per cent. 


of the 


per cent. 


Un or- 










1 14-5 










3=49 T 

Scrutiny of these figures is most encouraging. The 
growth has been rapid ; in less than forty years the number 
of native Christians has increased inoi'c than sixfold. The 
proportion of communicants to the whole number of bap- 
tized persons has steadily increased from 16 per cent, in 
1 851 to 32*6 per cent, in 1890. 

The question of the Native Church held a prominent 
place in the Conference of 1879 at Bangalore. The Rev. 
J. Duthie of Nagercoil read a paper there which well 
illustrated the rapid progress being made on the one hand, 
and the relatively small impression the church has yet 
made upon the millions of India on the other. The 
Society in 1 867 revolutionized its whole foreign policy, 
and insisted upon strenuous efforts being made to render 
the Indian churches under its control much more largely 
self-supporting. By 1879 it was possible to test with some 
accuracy the progress made in South India. Mr. Duthie 
supplied a table contrasting 1857 with 1878, which showed 
that in South India there were 26 native ministers in 1857, 
and 212 in 1878 ; 12,009 communicants in 1857, 53,147 in 
1878; 59,607 baptized adherents in 1857, and 152,562 
in 1878; and that the total contributions from native 
Christians in 1878 to religious work amounted to 63,456 
rupees. Of these the London Missionary Society had 
1 native minister in 1857, but 24 in 1878; 1,360 com- 


municants in 1857, but 4,408 in 1878; 4,888 baptized in 
1857, but 18,708 in 1878; and the native contributions 
reached the sum of 14,471 rupees. These facts all bear 
witness to a very marked increase in the twenty-one years. 
Mr. Duthie pointed out that whereas at the Ootacamund 
Conference in j 858 there was no paper referring to a Native 
Church, in 1879 it was a foremost topic. Many of his 
statements are of permanent vahie ^ : — 

'VVe have a sure indication of vitality in this Church, 
in the fact that she is rapidly becoming naturalized to the 
country. No longer like an exotic, she is taking root 
amongst us — in other words, I consider that she is becoming 
more and more native year by year. And this, undoubtedl\% 
is a point of very great importance. In the initial stages 
of our work, when our predecessors had none but their 
Western experience to guide them, it is not to be wondered 
at if some of them, in their burning zeal for the diffusion 
of the truth, saw less clearly than the present race of 
missionaries the importance of the Church in this land 
being purely native. But what has been called the 
" Science of Missions " is much better understood in these 
days, and partly from experience of work in other lands, 
as well as by study of the subject in India itself, the 
principle that the Church here must be a Native Church 
is universally acknowledged, and must be exerting a power- 
ful influence upon all our methods of work, whether 
pastoral, evangelistic, or educational. Whether, in point 
of fact, it is thoroughly native in all our missions may be 
doubted, but I believe it may be considered certain that 
year by year it is becoming more so than formerly all 
over our field. 

' In our Travancore Mission, one of the greatest hin- 
drances to the establishment of the native pastorate has 
been, and to some extent still is, that the people do not 
really desire pastors ; and even when a pastorate has been 
formed, the utmost watchfulness is needed lest, in the 
event of the death or the transfer of a pastor, the people 
^ Report, vol. i. pp. 274-280. 


should return to their old position under the European 
missionary. There is a decided reluctance to let go the 
strong hand of the European. One cause of this seems 
to be a fear lest native rule should be less merciful and 
just than that of the missionaries, or lest the pastor should 
become the leader of a party and use his influence on its 
behalf; while yet another is their failure to apprehend 
clearly the necessity for pastors, and why a pastor should 
have so much more salary than an unordained agent, seeing 
that both do the same work and that the pastor does not 
work harder than the catechist. 

' In its membership also the Native Church is becoming 
more native — not native in contradistinction to foreign, 
but native in the comprehensive sense of the term, as 
including all classes as opposed to particular castes. In 
our Southern missions it can hardly be doubted that, in 
one aspect of it, our very success amongst the humbler 
classes has created a certain prejudice against Christianity 
among the higher castes, and we have sometimes heard 
surprise expressed by such, that, seeing we have so many 
congregations of low-caste people, efforts to form congrega- 
tions of high-caste converts should not be made. But 
I need hardly remark that a religion of such sort, with 
high-caste congregations and low-caste congregations, 
whatever it might be, would not be Christianity. Congre- 
gations, indeed, formed largely or entirely of one class will 
be found ; but this happens because converts from other 
classes do not live in the neighbourhood. In the Home 
Station Church at Nagercoil, we have people from eight 
or nine different castes, but all mix freely together in 
public worship and when the ordinances of the Church are 
administered. In the Romish missions separate congrega- 
tions for different castes is the rule ; in the Protestant 
Church in South India no such thing is now allowed, 
so far at least as I am aware, and this, so far as it goes, 
is undoubtedly a gain. 

' Formerly all our churches and chapels were erected 
with foreign money. But it is otherwise now. At the 


present time, when new churches have to be built, the very 
first matter to be settled is the amount which the people 
of the particular congregation in question are prepared 
to raise. This arranged, the mission, or a general building 
fund, or some friend makes up the deficiency ; and the 
work is done usually, as befits the condition of the people, 
inexpensively, and with little or no pretentions to style. 
In central stations, good, substantial, neat churches have 
been built — some such in Travancore, quite recently ; but 
even to these the native Christians have contributed a con- 
siderable proportion of the outlay both in money and in 
work. In nearly every case, the entire cost of repairs 
to churches and schools is now met by the people. 

' The prayerfulness of not a few in the Native Church 
is worthy of note, no less than that submission to the 
Divine will of many a sufferer which is so unlike mere 
fate. Family worship, though not I fear so generally 
observed as it ought to be, is more common than formerly. 
The desire to possess the Word of God is in many places 
very remarkable ; so is their appreciation, in many instances, 
of the value of education for their children. The liberality 
of not a few is deserving of special recognition. The 
contributions of native Christians in South India last year 
amounted to over 77,000 rupees. We have at Nagercoil 
several whose large-hearted giving has often awakened 
thanksgivings to God, not only because of the amounts 
given (though these have been large), but chiefly because 
of the value of the example to all the native churches of 
the mission — an example, I may be permitted to state, 
set by one of our deacons years ago, which not a few now 
follow, and which will be imitated, I hope and believe, 
by many more in years to come. Hardly any more 
remarkable illustration than this of the power of a good 
example could be found anywhere ; for this single church 
and congregation contributed last year nearly 1,000 rupees 
more than our whole Travancore Mission at the date of 
the Ootacamund Conference.' 

The Native Church in connection with the London 


Missionary Society Missions stood in 1890 in the following 
condition : — ^In 1880 there were 28 ordained native agents, 
in 1890 there were 40 ; in 1880 there were 236 non-ordained 
native workers, in 1890 there were 413. In 1880, of Church 
members in North India, 456 ; in South India, 890; in Tra- 
vancore, '^,6S5 '■> ^"^ 1890 the figures were North India, 659 ; 
South India, 1,527 ; Travancore, 6,004. 

Commenting upon these figures the Report for 1891 
states : — 

' While this increase is great and gratifying, a careful 
study of the reports from the different stations shows that 
it is remarkably uneven. There are vast fields white to 
the harvest in which the need for great increase of workers 
is immediate and urgent. Such is the condition of the 
South Telugu Mission, in which the missionaries report 
that for a considerable time past they have been unable 
to visit heathen villages because they dare not encourage 
them to come over to Christianity, having no teachers to 
supply for their instruction. Upwards of twenty such 
villages have gone back to heathenism within the last few 
years because, having waited long for teachers, no teachers 
were forthcoming. The whole district, containing a popu- 
lation of two millions, is in such a condition of awakened, 
though ignorant interest, that were missionaries and 
teachers forthcoming to occupy all the principal places, it is 
probable there would be a movement towards Christianity 
which would see the whole Mala population nominally 
Christian in the course of a few years. . . . On the other 
hand, there arc stations where not half a dozen converts 
have been gathered in ten years, and others where the 
numbers are very small. The reports from these districts, so 
barren of result, furnish at once the evidence that, humanly 
speaking, no result could have been expected under the 
conditions of the work. Districts with a population of 
three-quarters of a million, even of a million and a quarter, 
have been supposed to have two missionary workers ; but 
the exigencies of work and health have resulted in such 
stations being left year after year practically in the care 


of one man. The " thin red line " of the British soldiery, 
which has so often been expected to do, and has so often 
done, wonders of valour in our wars, has been a solid and 
mighty host as compared with the mere skeleton of an 
army which the Church of Christ employs to fight its 
battles in the heathen field.' 

II. The Quality of the Native Christians. 
Mr. Wardlaw Thompson and Mr. Albert Spicer, after their 
visit to India in 1H83, presented a careful and full report 
to the Directors, in which the conditions and the prospects 
of the Native Church in the various missions under the 
control of the Society necessarily occupied a foremost 
position. From this report we take a few paragraphs : — 

' The character of the native Christians and the pros- 
pects of the development of an indigenous Christian life 
by the consolidation, self-help, and enterprise of the native 
Church, become the crucial test of the success of missionary 
work. Schools, and other efforts for the social elevation of 
the people, are all valuable if they prove means to this 
end ; but, if the end be not gained, they are, so far as the 
great object of the Society's existence is concerned, so 
much wasted labour. And, if the testimony of the majority 
of the Europeans in India is to be received as trustworthy, 
the end has not been gained. Repeatedly the assertion is 
made that there are few, if any, native Christians except 
in name. We had not been long in India before we had 
abundant evidence that this testimony was not trustworthy. 
It is not that there is any desire wilfully to misrepresent 
facts, or to bear false witness against the missionaries and 
their converts, but that those who thus speak are not 
acquainted with the facts. The path of the ordinary 
European in India does not often cross the humble track 
of the native Christian ; he does not even know much 
about the habits of thought, or the religious condition of 
the much more easily visible mass of heathens. From some 
men, whose duties had brought them into contact with the 
people, we received willing testimony to the reality of the 


work which was being done by the missionaries, and to 
the change wrought by Christianity upon those who had 
come under its influence. We ourselves saw the converts 
constantly. We met them at gatherings in the central 
stations, and in rural out-stations. We saw them in their 
homes, as well as in public. We made full and detailed 
inquiries of the missionaries and of the native workers as 
to their manner of life and their failings. And we record 
deliberately, and with gratitude to God for what we 
were permitted to hear and see, our conviction that the 
work of grace among the natives has been a very real and 
effectual work, and that there is much reason for encourage- 
ment in regard to the spread of Christianity among the 

'Some of those whom we met, both men and women, 
would have been ornaments to any Christian Church in 
England. And we learned concerning the Christians 
generally, that as compared with their neighbours, they 
are chaste, truthful, and conscientious in a high degree. 
P^amily religion is practised, the Sabbath is observed, and 
the second generation of converts exhibit a firmer and 
steadier Christian life than the first. They have some 
marked faults, which seem to be very general, and are to 
be traced to the habits and training of generations. They 
are litigious, and are prone to carry every petty dispute 
to the law-courts. They are too ready to get into debt, 
and, often in connection with dowries and marriage-feasts, 
incur obligations which they have not the slightest pros- 
pect of being able to pay, and which reduce them and 
their families to a state of semi-slavery for the rest of 
their lives. And they are sadly deficient in self-reliance. 
Always accustomed to depend on those above them, they 
bring the same spirit of dependence into Christian life, and 
are prone to hang on the skirts of the missionary and 
the Society. As a natural consequence of this dependent 
spirit, their Christian life lacks enthusiasm and earnestness. 
We were surprised to find at most of the stations that 
there was little or no voluntary effort among the people 


to carry on Christian work, and no ambition to become 
independent of the Society's help. 

III. The Self-Support and Self-Government of 
THE Native Church. The report of Mr. Thompson and 
Mr. Spicer in 1HH3 is in harmony with the later report of 
the South Indian District Committee ah'eady quoted. 
They proceed to state : — 

'This state of things bears very closely upon the future 
prospects of the Church in relation both to self-government 
and self-support. It is, however, perfectly intelligible, and 
ought to be regarded in relation to its causes. It must be 
borne in mind that hitherto Christianity has won its chief 
triumphs among the lower castes and the poorer classes 
in India. In Travancore, where the success of this Society's 
missions has been most marked, the Christian community 
is almost entirely composed of Shanars and similar very 
low castes, who were actually in a state of servitude until 
Christianity interfered on their behalf. To all these it has 
been in many ways a distinct gain to become Christians. 
But they have brought into Christian life a character 
marked by passive, rather than by active, virtues ; and, while 
we cannot be blind to their shortcomings, it is cause for 
thanksgiving that they have developed so fast and so well 
towards a robust Christianity. In the South Indian 
Missions, converts have been gathered from all the castes, 
but the numbers have been very much smaller than in 
Travancore, and the large majority have been from the 
lower castes. In North India, with the exception of 
Calcutta and its rural missions, the number of native 
Christians connected with the Society's stations is exceed- 
ingly limited, and their condition generally is very humble. 
Among such a class, belonging to a race naturally deficient 
in self-reliance and independence of character, accustomed 
to move in masses, and dreading change, how is it possible 
to expect a strong, energetic, and independent Christian 
life, except as the result of a slow and patient care ? We 
believe the missionaries are fully alive to the need for 


improvement among the people in this respect, and arc 
doing their best to train them to undertake the responsi- 
biUties of Church hfe and of Christian service ; and we 
are glad to learn that they are encouraged in many cases 
by observing a steady improvement. This growth will, 
however, necessarily be a work of time, and cannot be 
forced on. 

' The difficulty of progress is greatly increased by the 
extreme poverty of the people. It is scarcely conceivable 
to one who is not a resident in India how deplorably 
poverty-stricken the bulk of the lower-caste people are. The 
pay of a day labourer, in all the country districts of South 
India, and in Travancore, varies from two annas to four 
annas per diem, and large numbers of cultivators have to 
support their families, even when harvests are good and food 
and work are plentiful, upon an income of three or four 
rupees per month. Under such conditions it seems almost 
hopeless to expect the people to attempt to support their 
own pastors, except in the very few large centres where 
the Christian community is numerous and remunerative 
employment can be obtained. Moreover, such is the un- 
certainty of the seasons throughout the greater part of 
India, and the difference of a few inches in the annual 
rainfall makes so frequently the difference between plent)' 
and starvation, that those who in a prosperous season may 
be able to raise the amount required are very reluctant to 
engage in any permanent obligation to do so. They prefer 
to give what they can and when they can to the funds of 
the Society, leaving the Society to provide regularly for 
the maintenance of their teachers. Of course this is not 
by any means a healthy or satisfactory state of feeling, 
but it is one which requires to be recognized as existent. 
It is also one which can only be succesfully changed by 
the slow process of improvement in the condition of the 

At the Decennial Conference in Bombay in 1892, Mr. 
Hawker of Belgaum, and Mr. Duthie of Nagcrcoil, both 
referred to this subject. Mr. Hawker said ; — 

II. T 


' In this matter of self-support I think the societies at 
home are driving us a Httle too fast. Our pastors should 
be educated men, able to read English literature, and to 
give their people the advantages of the centuries of experi- 
ence and research of other Christian Churches. Excepting 
those places where Christians are numerous, our Churches 
are not yet able to give such men adequate support. If 
compelled, in all cases, to draw our pastors' support from 
the local Church we shall be obliged to be content with 
such men as our income will secure, and perhaps in some 
cases to employ undesirable pressure to increase those 
incomes. Evangelists and catechists, who are doing largely 
the same kind of work as the pastor and taking turns with 
him in preaching to the different congregations, cannot 
always see the reasonableness of being urged to give 
liberally out of their smaller salary to augment the larger 
salary of the pastor ; and when we go the length of taxing 
our Church members, and of placing a man outside the door 
of the pay-room to receive tithes of the mission agents as 
they go away with their monthly salary, I think the pressure 
is too great, and that the feeling in the minds of some of the 
givers was correctly characterized by a previous speaker as 
" painful." I think, therefore, that the societies should give, 
where it is necessary, assistance to enable us to support the 
best men available as pastors of our Churches, and that 
the weaker Churches at least should be encouraged to give 
for other objects, as. for instance, for the incidental expenses 
of worship and for the assistance of their poor members. 
In many cases this is all they can do, and mission agents 
will give more cheerfully for these objects than for the 
augmentation of the pastor's salary. If our Churches 
are to become really self-supporting, they must become 
less dependent on foreign societies. In not a few Churches, 
I fear, nearly all the wealthier members are agents of the 
missionary society, and draw their support from its funds. 
This is not as it should be, and I think we should be wise 
if we did more to fit our Christian lads for the public 
service, or for employment in Hindu society, and urged 


them to give us more voluntary, unpaid effort in Christian 

Mr. Duthie, of Nagercoil, stated that in Travancore the 
Native Church contributed in 1859 only 3,000 rupees to the 
support of church work; in 1891, 18,000; and that this 
sum was raised (i) from offertories, (2) firstfruits, (3) 
missionary boxes ; and that this movement was originated 
not by the missionaries, but by the natives themselves. 

IV. The Native Pastors and Preachers. In- 
separably connected with the progress of a Native Church 
is the quality of the native pastors and teachers, and the 
training which they receive. The Deputation Report of 
1883, already quoted, deals fully with this great question : — 

' We have formed, on the whole, a very favourable 
opinion of the earnestness, ability, and consistency of 
character of the native agents of the Society, and of the 
pastors of the Native Christian Churches. Some of them 
are men of acknowledged ability and power, and most of 
them appear to be conscientiously doing their duty accord- 
ing to their ability. Without their aid in preaching, 
visitation, and the religious instruction of the young, the 
work of the European missionaries would be restricted 
within very narrow limits ; and if Christian work is to be 
carried on with the necessary regularity and persistenc)^ in 
the districts which the Society is attempting to evangelize, 
it can only be done by a large increase in the number of 
these native workers. 

' There are also some men in each part of the Indian 
Mission who have been recognized by the Society as 
ordained evangelists or assistant missionaries, or who hold 
very important positions in connection with educational 

' We were sorry to learn that in many of the stations the 
supply of really suitable native workers was deficient, and 
that in some places the prospect of being able to fill up the 
places of those who are passing off the field was very doubt- 
ful. This state of things is due to various causes. Better 

T 2 


trained men are needed even for the plainest work to-day 
than were required a few years ago. In the early days of the 
missions men were appointed catechists, not always because 
they showed special qualifications or had special gifts, but 
because they were the only ones whose services were avail- 
able in a time of need. Many of those early catechists have 
proved most faithful workers, and some have developed 
powers which have made their labours conspicuously 
successful. But the country has advanced rapidly of late 
years. Even in remote districts men may be found who 
have received an English education, and who prove 
formidable opponents to untrained teachers ; and the 
spread of a general knowledge of the nature and claims 
of Christianity among the people generally requires that 
they should be addressed by men who are well informed, 
and who are able to make a familiar yet distasteful subject 
interesting. At the same time the growth of the missions, 
which requires more thorough and constant work in out- 
lying districts, has greatly increased the demand for 
labourers ; five are employed now where one was engaged 
thirty years ago. 

' But, unfortunately, the natural growth of the Native 
Church has not been of such a character as to suppl\- 
a sufficient number of men who are really qualified to do 
the work. The large majority still come from the same 
low stratum of the population, and are no better fitted than 
the previous generation to become teachers of others. The 
missionaries have still to employ many men, not because 
they seem raised up to do a special work, but because the)- 
are the only men they can get. The consequence is, that 
in many stations it seems to be very difficult, as the older 
catechists die off, to get suitable men to fill the leading 

' This difficulty is increased by the temptations to lucra- 
tive employment which are now placed in the way of the 
better educated. It might be supposed that an increasing 
number of youths would be available from the schools who 
might be trained for service. It is disappointing to notice 


that this is not generally the case. At the present time 
there seem to be openings enough in the Government service 
and in other lucrative employments to absorb all the youths 
who receive sufficient education through the agency of the 
mission schools. The result has been that the claims of 
Christian service have been cast in the shade by the 
attractions of more remunerative work in secular spheres. 

' In answer to the question why so few were coming 
forward to take part in Christian service, we were repeatedly 
assured by the leading native workers that, unless the 
Society was prepared to approximate more nearly to the 
secular standard in its payments for work, and also to 
reconsider the question of status in the mission, young men 
of education would not be found willing to offer themselves 
for its service. 

' Unless a very marked change comes over native society, 
by which the Christian community shall receive large 
accessions from the wealthier and more influential classes, 
the Native Church must needs be a very poor Church for 
years to come, and it will not be able to give its ministers 
high remuneration for their labours. While, therefore, the 
Society should provide for its native workers on a scale 
which will enable them to maintain themselves honestly in 
accordance with the positions in which they are placed, it 
would be a grievous injury to the independence of theChurch, 
and would indefinitely postpone the prospect of self-support, 
to raise the standard of salary to a level at which the native 
Christians cannot hope to maintain it unaided. 

' We are deeply impressed with the conviction that the 
Society has already lost the opportunity of securing one 
generation of workers by failing to make adequate provision 
for Training Institutions in different parts of India. Those 
who were in the institution at Bangalore at the time when 
it was given up are now occupying positions of usefulness 
and influence in other spheres ; and others who might have 
been similarly trained have gone elsewhere. We were sorry 
to find also throughout the South Indian missions, that the 
sudden closing of that institution had resulted in producing 


in the minds of the native Christians a want of confidence 
in the permanence of any similar work which might be 
commenced by the Society. The manner in which this 
want of confidence found expression was often very un- 
reasonable, but the results are very real, and very prejudicial 
to the interests of the Society. 

'In the present condition of India, and of the Indian 
missions of the Society, there is urgent need that special 
efforts should be made to secure and to train a large number 
of workers of every class. In addition to the constant and 
increasing requirements of the educational and evangelistic 
work, the Native Churches will more and more require men 
fitted to undertake the responsibilities of the pastoral office.' 

No estimate of either the past or present condition of 
the Native Church can leave out of account the difficulties 
of a church built up of those just escaping from such 
a pervasive and degrading heathenism as the Hindu, and 
also from a social system dominated by the most pernicious 
custom of caste. The slow progress of the church, the 
unsatisfactory character of many of the converts, the de- 
fects of the native pastors, the tendency to rely too much 
upon the missionary, are mainly due to these two great 
causes. The Rev. J. Joshua, one of the Society's native 
pastors at Nagercoil, read a paper on this branch of the 
subject at Bangalore, in which he classified the hindrances 
which converts often have to surmount from the heathenism 
out of which they come as follows : — (1) Physical force in 
the way of persecution, (2) Persuasion, (3) Threats, (4) 
Refusal to help converts in ordinary social matters, 
(5) Business relations with heathen, (6) Intermarriage. 
In addition to all these hostile influences, many of them 
often being brought to bear upon the convert in very 
subtle and powerful forms, the whole weight of the caste 
system is, of course, in the most deadly enmity to 
Christianity. Unhappily, in addition to all these obstacles, 
there is evidence which cannot be gainsaid that the spread 
of intemperance in the Native Church has been in some 
parts a very serious hindrance to its progress. 


The Decennial Conference of 1892, held at Bombay, 
devoted an early session to the consideration of the Native 
Church. The subject came before that gathering of 
missionary workers from all parts of India, on the second 
day, in the form of papers, and a discussion upon ' Native 
Church Organization and Self-support.' Mr. Kali Charan 
Banarji of Calcutta dwelt upon the ideal church, and reached 
this conclusion ^ : — 

' The conception of self-support has unfortunately been 
reduced to a question of rupees. A self-supporting con- 
gregation is understood to mean a congregation which 
finds the money required for the support of its pastor. It 
were better to include in the conception the capability of 
finding, within itself, the pastor, and, we would add, the 
missionaries, to be supported. Before a congregation is 
declared self-supporting, it should be possible for it to find, 
within itself, both men qualified to sustain and propagate 
Church life, and money sufficient to provide for their sup- 
port. It is desirable that the conception of '' The Native 
Church in India" should be realized in the near future. 
In order to this consummation, the foreign Churches should 
not burden Indian Christians with the demands of their 
own matured organizations, but leave them free to start 
from simple beginnings, and to educate themselves into 
complex developments, such as might come naturally to 
them, under the leading of the Divine Spirit. The attempt 
to make them begin at the end is responsible for their ill 
success hitherto in reaching the end.' 

Mr. Banarji was followed by Dr. Chamberlain of the Arcot 
Mission of the Reformed Church, who dealt with organiza- 
tion, and urged that it must be such as to bring native talent 
to the front and give full scope to native leadership^: — 

' We have not yet seen, I profoundly believe, that Church 
organization and polity that will be the Church of India and 
bring India to Christ. We are in a tentative stage. We are 
endeavouring each to contribute of our best to the Church 
of the future in India, but I regard none of the existing 

' Report, i. pp. 124-7. ' Ibid. pp. 136-8. 


Churches as a finality. i\Iore than fifty organizations 
have planted missions in India. These are from England, 
Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Denmark, Scandinavia, 
Switzerland, Holland, France, the United States of America, 
Canada, and Australia. Each naturally models the native 
Church it founds, more or less, after the pattern of that 
home Church which sent it to India. "VVe thus have very 
great diversity in the organization of the different Native 
Churches, in the different missions, in the different provinces, 
and the different languages of India. There is unquestion- 
ably some good, and not all harm, in such diversity as an 
incipient stage. But no stereotyped plan, cast in Occidental 
moulds, will prove to be the enduring Church for the 
Orientals. As a missionary who has already passed one- 
third of a century in the service of India, I have one great 
aspiration that fills my mind, and on which I think much 
in my quiet hours. It is this : — May this great land with its 
myriads of people be won, not for Presbyterianism, not for 
Independency, not for Episcopacy, not for Methodism, but 
FOR Chrlst, and in His way, and with such organization 
as He by His Spirit may bring out of our united efforts, 
we working always with teachable and expectant mind.' 

Had Dr. Chamberlain been consciously expounding the 
'fundamental principle' he could hardly have got nearer 
that mark than in these words. This is precisely what the 
London Missionary Society aims at, viz. to bring Christ to 
the hearts of Hindu men and women, and then leave them 
so to organize the Indian Church as best to meet the needs 
of that vast land, and the conditions of life and thought so 
different from those which obtain in the West. Mr. Banarji's 
ideal church is the one which the Directors would gladly 
aid to establish, but they feel that much remains to be done 
before it comes within reach. 

The condition of the chief Native Churches under the 
Society's care at the end of the century was as follows : — 

At Calcutta and in the rural districts it was growing slowly 
but steadily. In Benares the church was ' very small in 
numbers, and has consisted almost exclusively of persons 


in the employ of missionaries and their families. The 
prejudice against Christianity in the city is so strong that 
those who come under the power of the Gospel have found 
it necessary to seek employment in Allahabad and other 
places, where they might be free to make a Christian 
profession.' From Mirzapur the re[)ort was also of hard 
work not yet successful in any way that admits of statis- 
tical measurement. ' So long,' the last Decennial Report 
for 1 H90 ran, ' as preaching the Gospel in a city with a 
population of (So,oco is left to ojie missionary, assisted by 
a single native catechist, it is not reasonable to suppose 
much impression can be made. Yet such has been for years 
the condition of Mirzapur.' At Almora the prospect was 
brighter, though only relatively. The 58 communicants of 
i<SSo had grown to 104 in 1H90, and during the ten years 
there had been 190 baptisms. 

In the case of South India the prospect was much more 
encouraging as to numbers, but it has always to be borne 
in mind that the Gospel even there has but slightly touched 
the higher castes. The wide spread of education among 
the Christian converts and the influence of Christianity 
are beginning to react upon their intellectual capacity, 
h^-eed from the superstitions and degradations of Hinduism, 
the native Christians are more than holding their own in 
the intellectual arena, in the face of the hostile influence of 
Brahman officials. Notwithstanding these difficulties and 
drawbacks, the Native Church in South India is steadily 
growing in numbers, in influence, in capacity, and in 
power for aggressive work. It is highly probable that 
God's method of winning India, as a whole, will prove in 
the twentieth century to have been through the despised 
Malas and Shanars of South India. 

In Madras the two Native Churches under the care of 
the Rev. C. Parthasarathi have exhibited signs of spiritual 
growth. The Bangalore Canaresc Church was for thirty 
years under a native pastor of ability and education. It 
has not, however, shown much aggressive power, but has 
been built up chiefly by the orphanages connected with the 



mission, and it has a promising nucleus of young persons of 
good Christian character In Bangalore the Tamil Church 
is nominally independent, as it receives no pecuniary aid 
from the Society ; its position is anomalous. The members 
are mostly poor, and the pastor really receives his salary 
from the educational branch of the mission. 

At other centres the work continues to show the familiar 
feature of progress indeed, but far slower than ardent faith 
and zeal desire. At Belgaum 'the Native Churches make 
very slow progress, partly because the " offence of the 
cross " is still very great, and partly because the Christians 
have very imperfectly learned Christ, and exhibit a painful 
amount of weakness.' 

Bellary Church has never had a native pastor, but has 
been under the pastoral care of the missionary, assisted 
by native preachers. It profited much by the earnest 
spiritual preaching of the late Rev. Garsham Paul. It has 
grown steadily by accessions from the heathen. 

The two districts which yield the most striking statistics 
are Cuddapah and Travancore. At Nagercoil, Neyoor, 
Pareychaley, and Trevandrum steady and large progress 
marked the close of the century. In Neyoor the 886 com- 
municants of 1881 were 1,180 in 1891, and the native con- 
tributions of 1881, 2,531 rupees, had become 3,661, in 1890. 
In Pareychaley, a wide district of scattered hamlets, in 
1890 there were 69 churches, 2 native missionary pastors, 
6 evangelists, 40 catechists, and 13,960 nominal Christians. 

The Rev. S. Mateer, who was for over thirty years in 
charge of Trevandrum, thus summarized the results of 
labour in his district in his report for 1 890 : — 














J, 440 










Rs. 270 

„ «I5 
» 1,552 

» 2,178 


' In the past decade, taking the above figures, we find 
that the increase in number of adherents, or regular hearers 
and professing Christians, is over 78 per cent. ; in Church 
members or communicants, 181 per cent. ; in scholars, 207 
per cent. ; and in native contributions, 40 per cent.' 

To the eye of faith, to the devout soul, even for him who 
hungers after statistics, there is much in the history of the 
Hindu Native Church that is attractive and hopeful. Here, 
more even than in other departments, is it needful to realize 
how tremendous are the obstacles, how numerous the 
pitfalls, how weak is human nature, how inadequate are our 
ordinary standards to measure either failure or success. 
But here, once again, in the world's history the Gospel has 
vindicated the universality of its fitness for human need. 
The Hindu Church numbers among its adherents and 
members the haughty Muhammadan, the deified Brahman, 
the subtle pandit, the despised Mala and Shanar, and 
members of intervening castes. Their one common bond 
is personal surrender to Jesus Christ, and acceptance of 
His free, uplifting, sanctifying grace. It is yet but the 
day of small things, but no Christian student of Indian 
Missions can doubt that the little one ' will become a 
thousand, and the weak one a strong city.' 

[Authorities. —Letters, Official Reports, and Annual Reports ; many 
papers and speeches in the Reports of the Missionary Conferences at Allahabad 
in 1872, Bangalore in 1876, Calcutta in 1882, and Bombay in 1892 ; Hindu 
Pastors, by J. Ross Murray, M.A., 1892.] 



The missionaries sent out by the London Missionary 
Society have taken their full share in the great work of 
attempting to supply Christian literature for India. In 
this connection the names of John Hands, W. Reeves, 
Edward Pritchett, John Hay, Colin Campbell, Benjamin 
Rice, and Edwin Lewis in South India, with those of 
Dr. Mather, William Buyers, James Kennedy, G. H. Budden 
and others in North India, at once occur. Yet in the course 
of the century hardly more than a beginning has been made 
in this great department of service, and it is more than 
probable that the methods hitherto followed will have to 
be considerably modified if the work is to be thoroughly 
done. Up to the present very little progress has been 
made in the way of providing an Indian Christian Htera- 
ture. The utmost that can be said is that the Bible, or 
parts of it, have been translated into a goodly number of 
Hindu languages, and that a considerable number of Chris- 
tian books and tracts have been, with more or less success, 
put into a Hindu dress. Many school books have been 
prepared, and a few papers and periodicals provided and 
maintained. Yet it is hardly too much to say that a Hindu 
Christian literature in any sufficient sense is still practically 

In every important centre of missionary activity the plan 
followed has been the same. The Bible, either wholly or 
in part, has been put into vernacular form. Tracts and 
simple statements of Christian truth, followed by commen- 
taries on Scripture, more or less elaborate, have followed, 


accompanied, and often preceded reading and other 
school books. Auxiliary Bible Societies, aided by grants 
from the British and Foreign Bible Society, local tract and 
book societies, largely subsidized by the Religious Tract 
Society, and mission presses have been established in 
various parts. In early days the literature thus provided 
was generally given away, but soon this practice was aban- 
doned, and now it is almost invariably sold. The literature 
prepared and circulated in this way falls into several 

I. Versions of the Scriptures made by missionaries of 
the London Missionary Society. 

1 . Bengali. The only version in this language in which 
the Society's missionaries have taken part is the Musal- 
mani Bengali, a form of Bengali largely mixed with Persian, 
and other foreign words and forms, and spoken by Musal- 
m.ans. The Rev. J. Paterson began the work with the 
Gospel of Luke in i<^5;^, and the Rev. S. J. Hill continued 
it in i(S66, with the translation of John's Gospel, and in the 
course of five years added Matthew, Mark, Acts, Genesis, 
Exodus i-xx, the Psalms, and Isaiah. As in some quarters 
the language was looked upon as a jargon of Bengali and 
Persian, the version at this point was dropped. But in 
1876 the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society, under the care 
of the Rev. J. E. Payne, issued another edition of the 
Gospel of Luke. 

2. Hindi. The Scriptures in this tongue were not 
actually translated by London Missionary Society workers, 
but first the Rev. James Kennedy and then the Rev. J. A. 
Lambert did much patient and scholarly work in the 
important work of revision. 

3. Urdu or Hindustani. The New Testament, originalK" 
the work of Henry Martyn and Mirza P'itrut, was revised 
and issued in 1842 by a joint committee of London Mis- 
sionary Society and Church Missionary Society mission- 
aries. In this labour William Buyers and J. A. Shurman 
were the chief workers. In 1842 an edition of the New 
Testament in Romanized Urdu was also issued in Benares. 


Messrs. Shurman and J. Kennedy completed and revised 
a version of the Old Testament, and then the whole Bible 
was revised in both Roman and Arabic character. Edwin 
Lewis was a member of the revision committee of the 
Dakham New Testament prepared for the Muhammadans 
of South India. 

4. Giijarati. In 1815 J. Skinner and W. Fyvie opened 
the long-delayed mission at Surat, and by 182 1 had made 
and printed, among all their other labours, a version of the 
New Testament in Gujarati. Then Mr. Skinner died ; but 
Mr. Fyvie, in the course of 1823, completed the Old Testa- 
ment, and during his long residence at Surat continued to 
revise the version, and to issue new editions of the whole 
or of portions. In 1846 this mission was given over to the 
Irish Presbyterian Mission, and thus the one entirely ori- 
ginal version of the Scriptures made by the Society's 
missionaries in North India passed out of their control. 

5. Telngu. Des Granges, with the aid of the Brahman 
convert Anandarayer, translated, prior to his death in 1810 
at Vizagapatam, the New Testament as far as i Corinthians 
into Telugu. But only Matthew, Mark, and Luke were 
found to be ready for press, and in 1812 these were printed 
at Serampore. Edward Pritchett completed the New 
Testament, but the Rev. J. Gordon prepared another ver- 
sion, which, however, did not displace Pritchett 's. He also 
began the Old Testament, which was gradually completed 
by the Vizagapatam missionaries. The Serampore mis- 
sionaries had provided a Revised Version of the New 
Testament. The necessary revision of this most important 
version was undertaken by John Hay and J. S. Wardlaw, 
and upon the latter's death Dr. Hay for many years acted 
as the Bible Society's chief Telugu reviser. The work is 
now in the hands of the Rev. J. R. Bacon, assisted by a 
native clergyman of the Church Missionary Society. 

6. Canarese. This version was begun by John Hands 
of Bellary, and in 1820 the Gospels and Acts were printed, 
and in 1821 the whole New Testament. Assisted by 
W. Reeve Mr. Hands also translated the Old Testament, 


which was completed in 1827. In 1837 John Reid com- 
menced a revision, but owing to his death the work remained 
for a time in abeyance. In 1842 a representative com- 
mittee was formed for a new version. Mr. Weigh of the 
Basel Mission prepared the first draft, but the book after 
that was carried through by Benjamin Rice and Colin 
Campbell, who jointly undertook the task, and formed a 
representative committee, and endeavoured to apply more 
scholarly methods to the work. This revision was thoroughly 
done, and occupied seventeen years before completion in 
1859. Recently a new revision has been undertaken, also 
the work of a representative committee, of which the late 
Mr. Edwin Lewis of Bellary and the Rev. E. P. Rice of 
Bangalore are permanent members. 

7. Malaydlim. Much valuable assistance for many 
years in the revision of this version was given by the 
Rev. Samuel Mateer, 

11. Preparation of tracts and books for educational pur- 
poses and for theological instruction. This work has been 
general over the whole mission-field, though, of course, it 
has been done for the most part by men either of strong 
literary instinct, or who were driven by a deep sense of 
the need to do what they could to supply it. Two great 
drawbacks have been common to most of the Indian 
literary work of the century. 

I. Responsibility for the adequate performance of this 
work has never been fully and frankly recognized by the 
home governing bodies. They have, it is true, devoted 
considerable sums of money to it from time to time, and 
recognized the legitimacy of a missionary giving much of 
his time to Christian literature. But they have never 
studied it carefully, and they have been far too ready 
to relegate much of the work to other agencies. The 
Religious Tract Society has done noble service in en- 
couraging, sustaining, and subsidizing Christian literature 
not only in India, but in all parts of the great mission- 
field. Providentially this Society has grown and strength- 
ened side by side with the great missionary societies, and 


has become the handmaid of them all, spending in some 
years from ;^io,ooo to ;!^i5,ooo in the foreign mission-field. 
Auxiliary local tract societies, such as those at Calcutta, 
Madras, Bangalore, and Allahabad, have done, and are 
doing, very fine service. The British and Foreign Bible 
Society has been the motive force in the publication of 
the different versions of the Scriptures. Still, admitting to 
the full all the beneficial work these willing agencies have 
done, it yet remains true that they have had to some 
extent the mischievous effect of lessening the responsibility 
for literary work in the minds of boards of directors and 
committees of management. It has often been much 
easier to say 'Apply to the Religious Tract Society,' than 
to accept the legitimate responsibility which missionary 
work involves. Consequently, the home authorities have 
not always realized that it is often the best possible way 
of 'preaching the Gospel,' to write and publish a tract, 
a newspaper, a treatise, or a leaflet. Sometimes it is the 
only possible way. But Christian literature up to the 
present has not been a fully recognized and adequately 
supported department of mission-work. 

2. This state of things has, among other serious draw- 
backs, prevented the existence of a class of literary 
missionaries. By this is meant the absolute release of 
gifted and capable men from other missionary duties, and 
especially from those multitudinous details connected with 
a station which are necessary and yet which use up so much 
nervous energy and consume so much time, in order that 
he may give himself wholly to the important task of 
creating a native Christian literature. From time to time 
by actual vote of governing bodies, but more often by 
pressure of circumstances from which there was no escape, 
good men have Joi" a time given themselves to literary 
work. But, so far as we know, the literary missionary in 
the true sense of the term, that is, a competent, conse- 
crated, well-equipped missionary, wholly devoted with the 
full sanction of his home committee to Christian literature 
for India, and the task of choosing suitable topics, getting 


competent native converts to clothe them in the appro- 
priate Hindu dress, possibly writing books himself, has 
hardly yet made his appearance. This, perhaps, will be 
one of the developments which the twentieth century has 
in store. 

As an illustration of how this work has usually been 
accomplished, we may instance the example of Benjamin 
Rice at Bangalore about 1840. His biographer 
states : — 

' One great drawback to the prosperity of the Canarese 
schools was the want of a good series of school books. In 
fact, all that existed in Canarese appears to have been a 
single sheet containing short sentences, such as " God is 
One," " God is Holy," &c. When this had been read 
through, there was nothing more in the shape of a school 
book to be had. Benjamin Rice, with characteristic 
energy, at once set to work to supply the deficiency. He 
had already published, early in i<S39, his first tract, entitled 
Sirictii7'es on Hinduism, consisting of quotations from the 
Hindu Shastras on the chief doctrines of Hinduism, with 
arguments in refutation, and a statement of the doctrines 
of Christianity on the same subjects. This book, subse- 
quently revised, has passed through many editions, and is 
still a useful tract. Many instances have come to know- 
ledge of its being the means of awakening Hindu minds to 
a totally new view of divine truth. He now set to work 
on a series of school books. Just at that time (1840) a 
School Book Society was established in Bangalore, of 
which he became a member, and to which he offered the 
books which he successively prepared. His labours on 
these extended over several years, and included, among 
others, the following books : — 

First Reading Book .... 1839 

Second Reading Book .... 1840 
Catechism of Scripture History . . 1843 
Epitome of the Bible .... 1844 
Elements of Arithmetic .... 1846 
Elements of Geography .... 1847 
II. U 


To which in later years were added : — 

Third Reading Book (from the Tamil) . 1859 

First Scripture Catechism (from the Tamil) 1 860 

Second ditto ditto 1861 

Outlines of General History . . . 1870 

Besides all this work, he revised and edited a large number 
of works prepared by other authors ^' 

'The literary and other labours of Benjamin Rice in 
connection with the Bangalore Tract Society are thus de- 
scribed by the Rev. J. Hudson, chairman of the Wesleyan 
Mission in Mysore, who was his neighbour and intimate 
fellow-worker for many years : — " In later years he felt the 
need of publications which would more fully set forth 
Christian truth, and accordingly he prepared a series of 
a hundred Biblical tracts, which contain the substance of 
the Bible in Scripture language, with suitable explanations 
and reflections appended. The Native Church in the 
Mysore is indebted to him more than to any other man 
for its literature. The hymn-book, which he repeatedly 
revised and enlarged, and which now contains two hundred 
and fifty hymns, more than a hundred of which are from 
his own pen, is the only Canarese hymnal used in the 
Mysore. His musical taste helped him much in preparing 
this book. The translation of the Religious Tract Society's 
New Testament Commentary, executed under his care, has 
been a great boon. . . . As secretary, Mr. Rice had entire 
charge of the Bible and Tract and Book Depots, and the 
editing of all the publications of the two Societies. Prac- 
tically the entire work was in his hands. He was himself 
secretary, treasurer, editor, and committee. In Mr. Rice's 
opinion, the best kind of committee was a committee oi one. 
About October we used to meet together to listen to the 
report and to pass a vote of thanks to the secretary, and 
then we separated, sometimes for an entire year. It was 
difficult to suppress a smile as Mr. Rice assured us with 
perfect naivete that there was really no business for the 

' Benjamin Rice, p. 59. 


committee to transact — a statement that was quite true, as 
he had done it all himself. A delineation of Mr. Rice's 
character would be incomplete if this trait were left out. 
but we have no idea of drawing the lines heavily enough 
to constitute a blemish. It would doubtless have been 
better if he had taken the committee more fully into his 
confidence, but the course he followed was perfectly natural. 
He knew far more about the work than any one else ; he 
was stationary, while the committee changed ; and those 
who bear the burden have most claim to exercise the 
power ^" ' 

Statements like these go to prove that most of the 
literary work so far accomplished in India has been done 
not so much as the result of careful thought and matured 
system, but under the strong pressure of immediate need, 
and by men who had the will to override all obstacles, or 
who were so placed as to be able by virtue of their position 
to prepare the literature. Benjamin Rice was a strong man 
of this kind. 

No useful end could be secured by describing in detail 
the tracts, booklets, and various publications which have 
been issued in millions from the various mission presses 
during the last century. The preceding pages of history 
will have been written in vain if they have not prepared 
the mind of the reader for a larger and broader outlook 
upon missionary methods and departures. The Rev. E. P. 
Rice, B.A., the son and successor of Benjamin Rice (born 
in India, who has now had twenty-five years' experience 
as an itinerating missionary, and coupled with this large 
experience in the work of education and of Bible revision), 
in 1895, before a meeting in London of the secretaries of 
all the great English missionary societies, read a paper on 
this subject which has never before been printed. We 
reproduce some of the main points of that paper, because 
they put the case so clearly and so forcibly that they 
cannot fail to help all who desire from the achievements 
and failures and shortcomings of the past to gain the true 

^ Benjamin Rice, p. 167. 
U 2 


principles of action which should direct future policy. It 
may possibly be said that this is not history. But it is 
a fact that many of our foremost missionaries are pro- 
foundly dissatisfied with what has hitherto been achieved 
in the way of Hindu vernacular Christian literature. The 
views of Mr. Rice, and those for whom he was the spokes- 
man, are based upon a thorough acquaintance with what 
has been done in the past, and what the effect has been 
upon Hindu thought of existing Christian literature. In 
his paper Mr. Rice propounded the following views : — 

' I. I wish to emphasize the need for a vmch more 
extended use of the press, because it is the only means 
by which a small body of workers can reach and influence 
the vast multitudes of a country like India. In that 
country we have a population equal to five times that 
of all the rest of the British Empire put together. If the 
problem be stated thus : Given a non-Christian population 
equal to five times that of the rest of the British Empire, 
and as many foreign missionaries to make known to them 
the truths of the Gospel as could be gathered into any 
single average London church, to find the most effective 
means of accomplishing the task : one would think that 
the immediate reply which would spring to the lips of all 
would be : It can only be done through the large use 
of the press ; one missionary with a really good supply 
of literature will effect more than two or three missionaries 
without adequate literature. And yet, strange to say, I am 
not aware that any one of the great missionary societies of 
England has a literary department in its Indian missions 
corresponding to the itinerating, medical, educational, and 
zenana departments. What is done in this way is confined 
mainly to the German and American Societies. William 
Carey grasped the situation at once, and with instinctive 
wisdom lived the life of a literary man, and accomplished 
an amount of influential work that astonishes us. His 
work proved much more far-reaching than that of his 
colleague Ward, who was a good vernacular preacher. Yet 
somehow the tradition has been allowed largely to die out. 


What literary work is now done by missionaries in the 
vernaculars is in a casual way by busy men, who with 
difficulty snatch the requisite leisure in the midst of other 
pressing responsibilities, and who are generally without 
adequate native help. 

' The demand becomes more imperative when we consider 
that all the more influential portion of the Indian peoples 
have been for centuries a reading people. There were said 
to be 15,000,000 readers in India in 1H95, and the extension 
of education is increasing that number year by year. These, 
if they do not find healthful literature, will read hurtful 
literature. If they have not literature based on noble 
ideals of life and duty, they will read books which set 
before them low ideals and appeal to unworthy motives. 
Already India is being flooded with prurient English 

' 3. Christian literature in India is inadequate, both as 
to quantity and quality. An erroneous idea is prevalent as 
to the amount and value of the Christian literature already 
existing in India. Much of the literary work done by 
missionaries consists of grammars, dictionaries, and similar 
works which, though invaluable aids to the missionary, are 
no part of vernacular literature. Another portion consists 
of school books of a purely secular character, which might 
have been prepared as well by non- Christians as by 
Christians, and which are indeed being now very largely re- 
placed by Government and Hindu publications. These must 
all be eliminated. Then again, of the literature now being 
produced by the Christian publishing societies of India, the 
great bulk is in the English language. This no doubt is 
of great value, as it reaches many of the most influential 
classes ; but still it can only touch a minute percentage 
of the whole population of India ; it leaves untouched the 
masses of the people who for many a long day yet must be 
dependent upon the vernacular for instruction. 

'Setting aside all these, the amount and effective value 
of the vernacular Christian literature, properly so called, 
is extremely scanty. It consists largely of tiny tractlets 


which sell for a farthing or less each. These may be 
classified as good, bad, and indifferent. In any case they 
cannot in such small compass deal thoroughly with the 
questions which they touch. Moreover, of those tracts 
which are most satisfactorily done, a large proportion are 
negative and iconoclastic in character, pointing out the 
imperfection of Hindu doctrine and practice — a compara- 
tively easy task. On the side of positive instruction, and 
the exposition and enforcement of Christian ideals, we are 
very poorly off. 

' Of the larger works, the majority and the best appeal 
solely to native Christian readers, and do not in the slightest 
degree touch the non-Christian community. Moreover, 
many of these are translations, and no translation, however 
excellent, is capable of affecting deeply a Hindu mind, or 
touching and stirring a Hindu heart. Even the Pilgrims 
Progress, which is one of the most suitable books for trans- 
lation, and of which we possess excellent versions, moves in 
an atmosphere of thought so thoroughly foreign and so 
thoroughly Christian that it does not commend itself to 
a Hindu until he has entered the Christian Church. For 
those outside the Christian Church we have extremely little 
of any value. I know of no good attractive life of Christ or 
forceful presentation of His unique personality and work. 
I know of no fairly adequate exposition of the aims of the 
Christian propaganda for thoughtful inquirers beyond the 
compass of a farthing tractlet. Moreover, as the Hindu 
approaches these subjects from the side of the Hindu sacred 
books and traditions, we ought to have discriminating 
accounts of the contents and teaching of these books, and 
of the origin of their traditions. Further, we lack books 
which properly grapple with the very important pantheistic 
system of the Vedanta. Besides all this, we need the true 
ideals of life presented for the popular reader in the form 
of narrative and tale. In all these matters we are sadly 

' Passing from the anioiint of available literature to its 
effective value, the result of impartial inquiry is even less 


satisfactory. I limit what I have to say to books prepared 
for Hindus. Literature for Muhammadans, which is almost 
entirely in Hindustani, requires separate consideration. It 
is. I believe, much superior to that provided for Hindus. 

' From outside the Christian Church in India it would be 
impossible to find a more sympathetic, intelligent, and 
well-qualified judge than Mr. P. C Mozumdar, the most 
prominent member of the Brahmo Somaj. In an article 
contributed to the New York Outlook (May 19, 1894), 
he speaks in high terms of the literary industry of Carey 
and his colleagues and successors, and then goes on to 
say: — 

'"To the growing native Christian community, then 
a handful, the vernacular Bible and the storm of tracts and 
leaflets must have been of the greatest service. They were 
not only strengthened in their knowledge of Christian 
doctrines, Christian principles, and the history of their 
faith, but they received a general education which but few 
of them possessed when they entered the missionary fold. 
But if you ask me what religious service all this did to the 
literary Hindu public, my answer would be that the Christian 
vernacular literature, in Bengal at all events, is the most 
serious stumbling-block to the spread of the religion of 
Christ. . . . Not that the Bible is a disagreeable book, 
not that thoughtful Hindus are disinclined to the study 
of foreign religions . . . but because the translation of the 
Bible is so atrociously bad, and the language so utterh' 

' This is strong language, but it is in my opinion justified. 
Mr. Mozumdar speaks of Bengali, of which I know nothing. 
I speak of such languages of South India as I am able 
to form a judgment about. Mr. Mozumdar continues as 
follows : — 

' " The vernaculars of such progressive races _ as the 
Bengalis and Mahrattas are being perpetually refined and 
broadened. A thorough revival of letters has taken place 
during the last half-century. To the endless resources of 
the Sanskrit classics, now studied in the universities, the 


endless and increasing resources of English literature are 
daily added ; and the double culture results in the grace 
and improvement of the vernaculars which already exercise 
a mighty influence in every kind of national unity. Strange 
that the Christian vernacular literature has neither part nor 
lot in the new power. 

' So far Mr. Mozumdar. Now I will quote the v/ords of 
a missionary, than whom no one has done more to provide 
literature of the most effective sort in the vernacular in 
which he is working — Mr. Haigh, of the Wesleyan Mission, 
Mysore. He writes as follows: — 

' " Such vernacular literature as we have for our Christian 
Churches is simply English literature — done more or less 
idiomatically into the vernacular, and always with much 
loss of meaning and suggestiveness. In form and spirit, 
in everything but words, it is English. And this is what 
our people have to feed upon. Those who are baptized as 
children and have a long training in our schools gain some 
conception of the meaning of our books. That is, they are 
really receiving an English training through the medium 
of the vernacular. But they are by that very means made 
strangers and foreigners to their Hindu brethren. There 
are no points of approach between them. The language 
of the one has no grip on the other, recalls no memories, 
suggests no common starting-place, but suggests rather 
a great gulf fixed, so that those who would pass over 
cannot. The Christian Church of India is in great danger 
of having a language of its own. We may call it the 
language of Canaan if we please, but it is only English 
metamorphosed and sadly attenuated in the process. It 
will have meaning and may come to have power for those 
who are trained from childhood in our Churches. But my 
point is this — that if our vernacular Christian literature is 
to be so completely unrelated in thought and so largely 
unlike in style to the literature on which India has been 
feeding for centuries, we shall soon create a new caste 
which, while growing rapidly within, will decrease in power 
without. This is a real danger, as those can testify who 


have watched the methods and hstened to the discourses 
of many of our native brethren. After long experience 
I am bound to say that those discourses are generally 
almost as foreign as anything an Englishman with only 
ordinary powers of adaptation would inevitably deliver." ' 

' I quote Mozumdar once more : — 

' " I have repeatedly urged the retranslation of the Bible, 
always receiving virtually the same answer, ' It is im- 
possible to render an infallible book into a foreign idiom.' 
I ask whether liberal Christians in America and England 
cannot organize something to give India decent vernacular 
editions, if not the whole Bible, at least of some parts of it 
both in the Old Testament and the New. There is no 
denying that the Christian missionaries are a painstaking 
body, and if they could only be made to see their duty in 
the matter they would do it. I take it," he adds, " that 
people at home will show it to them better than we can 
hope to do here." 

' Alas, he does not know that many of the missionaries 
themselves are chafing under their restraint, and that the 
officials at home are bound by the conditions laid down for 
them by the public which provides the funds. Under the 
conditions laid down, the translations made are as excellent 
as could be expected, but the principles are wrong, and we 
want new principles. It often takes long experience before 
a missionary himself detects the source of trouble. When 
he does so he ceases to quote from the vernacular Bible or 
to use its Hebraistic phrases, but puts the thoughts into 
free paraphrase of his own ; and he finds that he is wielding 
a new weapon. He is now talking as the people themselves 
talk, and writing as they write, and what they formerly 
were repelled by they now find interesting and attractive. 
This was recognized as long ago as the time of Rhenius, 
who wrote a pamphlet on the subject in 1827. He also 
made an attempt at a more intelligible version of the 
Bible ; but he was in advance of his time, and the church 
reverted to the transverbation principle. Only now are we 
generally beginning to act on the principles he laid down, 


and in our most recent revisions of the Scriptures much 
progress has been made tow^ards the making the translation 
of the Bible really attractive to educated Hindus. 

* 3. What is the remedy for this state of things ? 

' (i) If we are to make adequate provision for the needs 
of India we cannot legislate for the country as a whole, we 
must study its constituent parts. It was inevitable at the 
beginning of missions that we should speak for convenience 
sake of vernacular literature " for India," but the expression 
is about as vague as if we spoke of the vernacular literature 
'• of Europe." We must realize, e. g. that the United States 
contains 9,000,000 less people than the Province of Bengal 
alone; that all our African possessions contain only a third 
of the number of the Telugu people ; and so on. We shall 
never make any solid advance until we break up the whole 
into its constituent parts and inquire into the openings for 
literature and other work in the Tamil country, the Telugu 
country, the Canarese country — just as in Europe we dis- 
tinguish works in Spanish from those in Turkish or German. 

' (2) Each linguistic area should have its one or more 
workers specially appointed to look after the needs of the 
vernacular spoken in it, and either to supply or to arrange 
for the supply of those needs. Those who are to produce 
the vernacular Christian literature of the future must be 
the natives of India themselves. But in this, as in other 
departments of Christian work, they need for some time to 
be led, guided, and directed by Christian missionaries. At 
the present time there are extremely few native Christians 
who have shown ability to convey the new ideals of Christi- 
anity and the new information derived from English books 
to their fellow countrymen in forceful vernacular. While 
therefore we use every endeavour to lead native Christians 
with literary tastes and talents to enter into this path of 
service, in the meantime we need European leaders to 
officer the new movement. 

' On this point Mr. Haigh's testimony is of great value. 

'" Some men who have joined the Church after middle 
life, and who up to that time had drunk deeply of Hindu 


literature, have found it a serious and even discouraging 
effort to accustom themselves to our style of literature. 
And when they have mastered some portions of it, they 
have found it necessary to translate it afresh for them- 
selves, not formally but none the less really, before they 
could make any use of it. I have known one or two such 
men. One was a Brahman. He had read intently the 
best standard Canarese literature and a good deal of 
Sanskrit — read as one who loved it and let his mind bathe 
itself in it. When about thirty years of age this man was 
brought into contact with the Bible by a teacher exception- 
ally able, patient, and sympathetic, one too who felt much 
the foreign character of our Christian literature. This 
teacher read with him and encouraged him at every step to 
reproduce what he had read in his own way, the way of his 
books. To hear that man, after four or five years of this 
kind of work, expound in thoroughly Hindu fashion the 
essential teachings of the Gospel, was to me a perfect reve- 
lation of what might be done with our native preachers. 
A crowded audience listened to him with eager and in 
many places excited attention. He swayed them as he 
pleased, and from beginning to end we had a fine exhibi- 
tion of properly ' Hinduized Christianity.' The books 
provided for our native Christians should be carefully re- 
lated to Hindu thought, expressed in its terms, done in 
its style, adopting where it can its positions, and leading 
on, still in Hindu fashion and with its terminology, from 
points of agreement to essential points of difference. To 
continue to send forth books of the old type will be to 
continue fatally to denationalize our Christian converts." 

* (3) Whence are these workers to come ? Obviously, for 
the present, they must come from among the missionaries. 
It is vain to ask such societies as the Religious Tract Society 
or Christian Literature Society to supply them. They 
have not the men at their command. And, moreover, these 
societies are already doing their full and fair share in under- 
taking, as they liberally do, the cost of publication and of 
circulation. It is the clear duty of the Missionary Societies 


to give the men and to support them while they do the 
work. In asking these missionaries to undertake special 
literary work, the Missionary Societies should not think 
they are making any sacrifice, as though they were parting 
company with them. They should rather feel glad that 
they are thus able to supply a pressing need, and to give 
formal recognition to an important branch of labour which 
hitherto has been by most societies almost ignored. 

'(4) Every such " literary missionary" should be assisted 
by one or more first-class native assistants. No missionary 
that I have ever met has such a flexible command of the 
language and thorough understanding of Hindu points of 
view as to be able to do without this. Missionaries have 
a free and useful knowledge of the language, but they only 
began to learn it in middle life, and then under great dis- 
advantage, inasmuch as the caste system of India forbids 
them living in a Hindu home and mixing freely with its 
members. He is always an outsider. Only a Hindu born 
can suggest the homely phraseology, the racy expressions, 
the forceful illustration, can determine nice points of idiom, 
and can distinguish between ideas universally understood 
and those which are only the property of the scholar. 
The large amount of literary work which the earlier genera- 
tions of missionaries got through was due to the fact that 
then it was the custom of each mission to have its permanent 
native mynshi, who was always at hand as a referee and 

'4. The classes of liter ahire needed. It is coming to be 
more and more clearly seen and accepted by all who are 
competent to form an opinion, that no mere translation of 
a Western book, however excellent, can go far to influence 
the people of India. Their thoughts are cast into an 
altogether different mould from our own. Translations 
from English are about as far away from appealing to 
Hindu minds and touching Hindu hearts as translations 
of Egyptian and Assyrian texts are from the life and 
thought of the England of to-day. We must not ignore 
the profound effect of differentiation produced by India's 


3,000 years of comparative isolation. Sit down and try to 
render a page oi PiincJi into some other European language, 
or to give a version of one of Tom Hood's punning poems, 
and note how entirely the fun and interest of the thing is 
lost. That is very like the effect of ordinary translations 
from English into the Indian vernaculars. The words are 
there, the meaning of the sentences is correctly rendered, 
but the same emotions are not stirred. The only possible 
way to effect the desired end is to let the ideas of the 
original sink into the mind, and then to produce an entirely 
new work, adopting perhaps a different arrangement, and 
selecting different illustrations, so as to adapt it to the 
Indian reader. So does a mother adapt a story to the 
requirements of her three-year-old child. So are Bible 
incidents transformed when told by a skilful preacher in 
an Indian bazaar. 

' But although translations from English are of but little 
value, a good work produced in one vernacular of India 
can sometimes be rendered with ease and advantage into 
another vernacular because the types of thought and 
language are the same. The literary missionary ought 
therefore to keep himself informed of books which have 
proved successful in other languages of India. Abstracts 
of them can be made for him by native assistants, and 
if approved, those same assistants can produce complete 
translations. Thus what is done well in one part of India 
will not be lost upon other parts. 

'(i) If vernacular Christian literature is to be a power in 
India, it must get altogether away from the influence 
of the vernacular Bible and of the verbiage of English 
books. The models of style and presentation must be the 
language as spoken by the Hindus them.selves, as used in 
Hindu newspapers and Hindu popular books. The writers 
must take the pure molten thought of Christian truth and 
pour it into Indian moulds to solidify there. When pre- 
sented thus it will be welcomed by every earnest Hindu 
and begin to exert a due influence in the land. 

'(2) Special attention should be devoted to the production 


of good periodical literature — both newspapers and maga- 
zines. However ably a subject may be treated in a book, 
comparatively few have the interest to purchase it or the 
perseverance to read it through. One of the most im- 
portant tasks if we would lead India to Christ is to 
keep Christianity constantly in evidence before Hindus, 
to present it to them daily in fresh lights and in new 
relations to life, so that it may be a constant source of 
surprise, instruction and healthful stimulus. This can 
best be done by means of magazines and newspapers, 
which always come to the reader with something fresh, 
and in which the relation of Christianity is exhibited 
towards the questions of the day which are engaging 
people's minds. 

' (3) Every endeavour must be used to make the literature 
provided pay its own expenses — at least for printing, 
publication, and circulation. This will place it on a sound 
commercial basis, and prove a test (I will not say of the 
intrinsic worth, but) of the general acceptability of the 

So far Mr. Rice, but in this connection, and as illustrative 
of the incalculable influence of the right kind of Christian 
literature, we adduce two examples from the report of the 
Bombay Decennial Conference. The first was given by 
the Rev. G. P. Taylor, of the Irish Presbyterian Mission, 
Ahmedabad : — 

' More than fifty years ago, the veteran missionaries of 
the London Mission were sadly and anxiously questioning 
whether they should not abandon this mission-field, when 
lo ! two Hindus appeared at the gates of Surat^ inquiring 
for the missionary's house. They had come from a village 
a hundred miles to the north, and as the warrant for their 
coming showed the tracts they had been reading, which 
invited all who might wish to learn further about Christ 
to visit the missionaries in person. These two men stated 
that in their district many were reading Christian books, 
that there was a large sphere of labour open among the 


villagers, and that they themselves would gladly receive 
baptism. Such was the origin of the first mission on the 
banks of the River Mahi, the parent of the present mission 
with its two thousand converts.' 

The other was from the experience of the Rev. W. Haigh 
of Mysore, whose literary work has perhaps attained most 
nearly to the ideal : — 

' For some years past I have had charge of a Canarese 
paper, called the Vrittanta Patrike. Every Thursday 
morning we send forth from our little press an issue varying 
from 1,500 to 2,000. It is a bona fide newspaper that we 
publish, and every copy is sold. We discuss all the leading 
topics of the day in as frank and fresh a way as we know 
how, and always from the distinctively Christian standpoint. 
People quite understand that now, and buy their paper, 
knowing what they will find. In every issue we try to 
carry to the people an urgent call to religious concern, and 
that part of the paper is as much appreciated as any. We 
do not mince matters ; while speaking always with the 
greatest possible kindness and respect, we speak always 
with unhesitating candour. Now this paper is doing much 
useful pioneer work. We have only a limited number of 
evangelists, and they by no means cover the area within 
which we are working. But the newspaper goes to scores 
of villages which the preacher cannot at present visit, and 
is doing its work in a way that makes us devoutly thankful. 
Some time ago I went to a village where no missionary had 
ever been before. After some inquiry I found the head 
man of the place and sat down to have a chat with him. 
He was a fine old man, not educated, but otherwise well 
fitted to be a leader among his fellows. I asked him if any 
one in the village could read. " Only one man," was his 
reply ; " I have engaged a Brahman to teach the boys of 
the village." This led me to remark on the advantages 
of education, if, for nothing else, yet at least for making 
them acquainted with all that goes on in the world. " Oh, 
we get to know that. On market-days we hear a good 
deal from different people, and besides that there is another 


way." "What is that?" I inquired. "Why, sir, every 
Friday evening, about this time, a newspaper comes to 
our village. It is called the Vrittanta Patrike, and I have 
myself paid the subscription for it." " But what good is 
such a paper to you?" I asked. "Why," said he, "when 
it comes I take it to the schoolmaster, and a boy goes 
round to tell the neighbours. After a while they all come 
together and sit down under that great tree, as many as 
thirty or forty." "Then," said I, "do you have it all read 
through that night ? ' " No," he answered ; " there is 
a great deal in the paper, and besides, we have great talks 
about everything it tells us. We generally meet five or 
six times before finishing one paper, and then we are ready 
for the next ! " The man had no idea who I was, and 
I encouraged him to talk freely. " What sort of things are 
there in this Vrittanta Patrikel'' I inquired. "All sorts 
of things, sir. There is an almanac every week, and we 
always see what are the market prices in Mysore and 
Bangalore. Then it explains all that the Sirkar is doing, 
and sometimes tells the Sirkar that it is making mistakes." 
"Is that all?" I gently persisted. "No; it says a great 
many things about our customs. It is always telling us 
that idolatry is false, and we have great talks about that ; 
and every week there is something about a Great Guru, 
called Jesus Christ. The paper says that He is everybody's 
Guru. We have read a great deal about Him. He did a lot 
of wonderful things, and He was very kind to those who 
were in trouble." Then, growing confident, he continued : 
" Do you know anything about this Jesus Swami, sir ? " The 
way was opened for my message, and I was able to deliver 
it to people who had been well prepared for it by previous 
reading and discussions. This is just one illustration of the 
work that may be done by a Christian vernacular news- 


INDIA IN 189,5 

We have passed in review the main features of the work 
carried on in India by the Society during a century, and 
have tried to reah'ze in some degree the chief results attained. 
How far has Christianity transformed Hindu life and 
thought, and in what respects does the India of Victoria, 
Queen and Empress, differ from the India of George III ? 
Most of those great forces enumerated in Chapter I as 
hostile to Christianity, are still operative in deadly 
antagonism to the Gospel. And yet upon them all to 
some extent the Gospel has exerted a transforming power. 
Considered in themselves as they work to-day, these forces 
would appear to show that very little has yet been achieved 
by the Gospel. Contrasted in 1895 with what they were 
in 1795, they .seem hardly more than shadows of their 
former selves. 

India to-day is as near to us as France was to our great 
grandfathers. Steamships and all the marvellous facilities 
for transit, the telegraph and all the accompanying develop- 
ments of communication, modern habits of travel, news- 
papers and books, the enormous increase of the civil and 
military establishments, the more frequent furloughs of 
missionaries, and the constant visitation of India by many 
different classes of Englishmen — all these variously effective 
influences have tended to draw England and India together 
in a way that a century ago was absolutely unthinkable. 

In 1795 there were in India, of the army of modern 
missionaries, only two — the great pioneer, William Carey, 

II. X 

3o6 INDIA IN 1895 

and his coadjutor, Thomas; in 1895 there were over one 
thousand. At that time there were no converts; in 1895 
the numbers were 600,000. But this method of contrast is 
very imperfect, and as apt to mislead as to instruct. It is 
not the number of workers on the one hand, or of converts 
on the other, which is all-important. The point of supreme 
moment is how far the love of Jesus Christ has won the 
heart of India, how far the mind of that vast continent 
with its 250,000,000 has come under the controlling sway 
and inspiration of the words of Jesus. These are questions 
which do not admit of exact and exhaustive reply, and yet 
the reply given determines to a large extent how widely 
and in what momentous respects the India of to-day differs 
from the India of Clive and Warren Hastings. 

Many men, each well acquainted with India^ might give 
varying replies to investigations of this kind. We are 
concerned mainly with the India of to-day as a land in 
which the Gospel has been preached and lived throughout 
a century by devoted men and women — but only by scores 
when there ought to have been thousands. With all this 
consecrated life and work and experience behind, what is 
India's outlook for the second century of Christian life 
and witness ? Let the late Mr. Edwin Lewis of Bellary, 
than whom none was more competent to judge, answer 
this great question for us : — 

' India to-day is a very different country from the India 
when the British first became acquainted with it. There 
were then many kings, great and small ; some ruling 
benignly in their own domain, others ruling tyrannically 
in their kingdoms ; great jealousy prevailed ; jealousies led 
to feuds, to wars ; and there was constant turmoil amongst 
the people. There was no homogeneity amongst the 
various races in the land ; no feeling of patriotism in any 
heart. The strongest held sway, the weak were oppressed ; 
the most clever exerted power, the gentle became slaves. 
Some of the tribes which originally possessed the land, 
valiant but weak in numbers, fled to the hill fortresses and 
the jungles. To-day almost the whole country is under 


British sway ; British law prevails ; justice is meted to 
all classes with impartial hand. Peoples of different races, 
different customs, different languages, different religions 
and traditions, the strong and the weak ; the vigorous 
tribes in the North-West Provinces, the millions of Bengal, 
the masses in Central and South India — Hindus, Muham- 
madans, Parsees, Dravidians, and Hill tribes — all find equal 
protection as subjects of a benign, paternal Government, 
and are learning under the liberal measures of that Govern- 
ment to become patriots, and to desire great things for 
their country. 

' The Brahmans, who, in the great classic language of the 
people, are the " gods of the earth," who for ages held the 
keys of learning and supreme priestly power ; the Rajputs, 
" sons of kings," born for warfare, with their strength and 
pride of arms ; the Varisya, created for trade, endowed 
with special power for commerce ; the Sudras, born from 
the feet of Brahma, made to serve, to toil in field and 
factory ; the Outcastes. scarcely to be acknowledged as 
men, but rather classed with the beasts of the field ; 
— all alike are the subjects of our Queen, our fellow sub- 
jects, with equal rights, all eligible for posts of honour and 

'Not a few of the best sons of Britain have laboured, 
and are labouring, for the permanent good of the land, as 
administrators, magistrates, judges, engineers, medical 
men, educationists, and merchants ; they deserve our praise 
and esteem. There are in India, States, some larger and 
some smaller, ruled by their own native princes ; but so 
great is British influence in the land, that even in such 
States British rule is regarded as the ideal ; and inde- 
pendent rulers profess to follow it, however far they fall 
short in administering it. 

' Another change, still more radical, and fuller of pro- 
mise of good and great things, has begun and made great 
progress in India; another kingdom has been established, 
another King has entered and laid His gracious hand upon 
the land and claimed the people as His own. He is 

X 2 

3o8 INDIA IN 1895 

working through His servants to bring the people into 
loving fellowship with Him, and happy, cheerful submission 
to His will. Chunder Sen, the late great leader of the 
Brahmo Somaj, expressed his view of the influence of 
Christianity in his country in these words : — " We breathe, 
think, feel, move in a Christian atmosphere, under the 
influence of Christian education ; the whole of native 
society is awakened, enlightened, reformed." And again 
he said, " Our hearts have been touched, conquered, sub- 
jugated by a superior power, and that power is Christ. 
Christ rules British India, and not the British Govern- 
ment. England has sent us a tremendous moral force, 
in the life and character of that mighty prophet, to 
conquer and hold this vast empire. None but Jesus 
ever deserved this bright, this precious diadem— India 
— and Christ shall have it." 

' There are to be seen in many parts of India very old 
and elaborately carved Hindu temples. The most sacred 
of them are surrounded with a high wall to guard them ; 
and many of them have high towers. No stranger is 
allowed to enter in ; the shadow of a foreigner would pro- 
fane it. The numerous priests have a personal interest 
in maintaining the sacredness of the buildings, and they 
guard their preserves with jealous care. I have at different 
times made friends of some who have authority in the 
temples, and gained entrance. Having crossed the high 
threshold of a temple we come to an open courtyard, in 
which ma)^ be seen men sitting about, talking, reading, 
a few bathing at the sacred well. Past the courtyard are 
numerous shrines, palkis in which the gods are taken in 
procession, gongs, bells, lamps, drums, many signs of reli- 
gious ceremonial, the paraphernalia of worship ; further 
on is " the holy of holies," in which is placed the image of 
the god, a distant peep of which is all that a stranger can 
be privileged to gain. The whole place and its surround- 
ings are consecrated. As I walk round and come out 
from the precincts of the temple, I feel an involuntary 
sigh of sadness. The place is called an abode of God. 


Many idols are there, 'tis true; but God dwelleth not 

' Such a temple is a picture of Hindu society, of the heart 
of Hindu life. Hindu society is guarded by the high. 
thick, strong wall of caste ; around it is the air of exclu- 
siveness. At the doors are the guardians, not a few who 
have stood to their posts for ages ; they give way before 
no force, yield to no fear. The door is only open to friends. 
I am thankful that I have been able to gain admission at 
least into some of the secret chambers, and there I have 
found very much human nature ; love has called forth love 
in response, and heart has spoken to heart. In the inner 
temple of Hindu society there are gods many, formed 
after their own desires — pride of race, selfishness, love of 
ease, superstition, deceit, subtle philosophy, asceticism, 
idolatry with all its proud and foolish ceremonials. If this 
were swept and garnished, if the evil were all taken away, 
the idols abolished, if the pure light of God's truth, the 
incense of obedience, the treasures of love were brought 
in, if Christ were here, if God reigned supreme, what a 
beauteous temple this would be ! 

* It is to bring about this glorious transformation that 
we, in Christ's name, labour in India. It is not a hopeless 
task, for it is Christ's ; we are His messengers, He is the 
Saviour. But — 

' I. There are still multitudes of orthodox, thorough- 
going Hindus, full of faith in the gods, imbued with a 
pantheistic philosophy, always engaged in religious ritual, 
learned in the Vedas, verses from which are ever flowing from 
their lips; they are almost unapproachable, their manner 
says, " Come not near to me. for I am holier than thou ; " 
they speak of themselves as like the beautiful lotus flower 
growing out of the mud in the lake, but uncultivated. 
These men are found all over the country, and they have 
great influence. 

' 2. There is another class, the " educated," the "enlight- 
ened," the " progressive " class, increasing from year to year, 
destined to exert a tremendous influence in Hindu society. 


A most important and critical part of the battle-ground 
of the next century will be where we meet with the ad- 
vanced, enlightened, reforming party of young India. This 
body is composed of men of undoubted ability, educated in 
English, who have broken away from most of the super- 
stitions, though not the vices of the Hindus, who do not 
want to be in bondage to any man or to any creed ; they 
have breathed the fresh air of Western thought, and are 
elated with the first experience of liberty ; they are be- 
ginning to feel the impulses of patriotism, are seeking to 
become statesman and leaders ; they see and acknowledge 
the value of character, and have an ambition to become 
men of character. Many of them have learned much from 
their contact with Europeans and Christian missionaries 
amongst them. They are men whom it is a pleasure to 
know : there is much in them we admire, much we would 
correct ; we have a great affection for them, and desire for 
them the best blessings. The question is asked, " Need 
we trouble about evangelizing them ? Are they not very 
well off as they are ? " I have never seen one of them who, 
in my judgment, would not have been an inexpressibly 
better and stronger and purer man if he had been a 
follower of Jesus. Our hearts yearn for such ; and we 
believe that our Lord loves them, and longs to save 

' As a class they do not in the slightest degree wish to 
become Christians— there are some individual exceptions. 
They are not as a body hostile to missionaries, are not 
opposed to our work ; some of them seem to approve of 
our trying to bring into the Christian fold the outcaste 
and down-trodden classes ; they join with us readily in 
philanthropic and educational work. They do not con- 
sider themselves in danger of becoming Christians ; they 
resist, scoff at efforts made to bring them to Christ ; they 
say, "Jesus may well be to the English people what Hindu 
sages have been and are to us Hindus ; but we do not need 
Him." They do not wildly, foolishly, and with the zeal 
of bigots refuse to acknowledge the good they see in the 


Christian religion ; they are eager to discover similar 
good things in Hinduism, and to absorb into their religion 
many of the doctrines of Christ. Hinduism has great 
absorbing power ; and these men will try to read into 
Hinduism what they have learned from Christianity ; and 
will give out as from Hindu sources precious treasures they 
have received from Christ's storehouse. 

' These men are not at present a large host, but are 
increasing from year to year ; they are strong, influential ; 
as enemies they will be formidable ; if they become Chris- 
tians as friends and allies, they will be as a band of the 
angels of the Lord. They stand in the very front, in 
the highest places of the battle-ground at the beginning 
of the new century. The best blood, the divinest skill, 
the finest and most consecrated talent, the largest hearts, 
the most Christlike men in our churches at home may 
well be employed for this portion of the field. 

' If these, which may be called the high places, the 
fortresses, be won for Christ, it does not follow that the 
warfare is accomplished — the wide-stretching battle-ground 
is beyond. The greater, if not the most important part 
of the whole field is amongst the masses of the people, the 
caste people, in their town life and in their village homes. 
Village life is simple, and may become very sweet ; the 
homes of the masses may be made very peaceful. If the 
men are Christians and the women followers of Jesus, and 
the children are brought up in the nurture and admonition 
of the Lord, homes will be transformed, village and town 
life will be beautiful. We believe this is God's will ; it is 
possible through Christ ; in and through Him alone. This 
is the Christian ideal ; the aim of our warfare is to set up 
the bright lamp of truth in every home, the Saviour in 
every heart, the kingdom of God in every village. 

' Buddhist legends say that all nature budded into spring, 
and a thrill of joy reached every animated being, that the 
blind saw and the dumb spake, that prisoners were set 
free, and the flames of hell extinguished, and a mighty 
sound of music arose from heaven and earth, when a 

312 INDIA IN 1895 

human soul so pure and holy, and thus filled with an 
almost infinite compassion as Buddha, began its life in 
the body. But the Buddha whom India has known for 
ages did not give any great hope to mankind ; he did not 
bring to his followers any faith in the heavenly Father. 
His doctrine early gathered around it gross superstitions ; 
it degenerated into senseless idolatry ; it developed useless 
asceticism and ecclesiasticism ; it was accompanied with 
the most mechanical routine service instead of a free, moral, 
and spiritual life. Wherever Christ comes the wilderness 
and the solitary place are glad ; the desert rejoices and 
blossoms as the rose.' 


' Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bonds of wickedness, 
to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye 
break every yoke ? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou 
bring the poor that are cast out to thy house ? when thou seest the naked, 
that thou cover him ; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh ' ? — 
ISA. Iviii. 6, 7. 

' The spirit of the Lord God is upon me ; because the Lord hath anointed 
me to preach good tidings unto the meek ; he hath sent me to bind up the 
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the 
prison to them thht are bound ; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, 
and the day of vengeance of our God ; to comfort all that mourn.' — ISA. 
Ixi. I, 2. 

' The calumniated minister had so far humanized his poor flock, his 
dangerous preaching had so enlightened them, the lessons of himself and 
his hated brethren had sank so deep in their minds, that, by the testimony 
of the clergyman, and even of the overseers, the maxims of the Gospel of 
peace were upon their lips in thi midst of rebellion, and restrained their hands 
when no other force was present to resist them, " We will take no life," said 
they, " for our pastors taught us not to take that which we cannot give," 
a memorable peculiarity to be found in no other passage of negro warfare 
within the West Indian Seas.' — Henry Brougham's Speech in the House 
of Commons, June i, 1824. 

' The Missionary Smith's case became a watchword and a rallying cry 
with all the friends of religious liberty, as well as the enemies of West Indian 
slavery. The measures of the abolitionists all over the country became more 
bold and decided, as their principles commanded a more general and warmer 
concurrence. All saw that at the fetters of the slave a blow was at length 
struck which must, if followed up, make them fall off his limbs for ever.'^ 
The Demerara Martyr, p. 217. 

' Hear it and hail it ; the call 
Island to island prolong; 
Liberty ! liberty ! all 

Join in that jubilee song.' 

* Hark ! 'tis the children's hosannahs that ring ! 
Hark ! they are freemen, whose voices unite ! 
While England, the Indies, and Africa sing, 

"Amenl hallelujah" to ''Let there be light!"' 

James Montgomery. 



The Report for 1798 contained this paragraph : 
' A mission to the poor blacks in Jamaica has engaged 
much of our attention ; and, though circumstances have 
deferred its final execution, it continues among the objects 
we have in view.' The occupation of Jamaica remained 
among the objects 'in view' for many years. This was 
due partly to the difficulties attending the start of a new 
mission, but also partly to the fact that the Wesleyans had, 
in the closing years of the eighteenth century, taken up 
work in that island. In 1807 a mission was begun in 
Demarara, but before telling the story of that movement 
it is needful to briefly sketch the attempts made to gain 
a footing in Tobago and Trinidad. 

The Report for 1808 states: 'It has long been in the 
contemplation of the Society to send missionaries to the 
negroes in the West India Islands. Few, perhaps, of all 
the children of Adam can have a stronger claim on our 
benevolence than those unhappy people, who have been 
cruelly torn from their native country and dearest con- 
nections, the victims of violence and avarice. The abolition 
of the slave trade, an event in which, with millions of our 
fellow subjects, we sincerely rejoice, seems to promise 
a fairer prospect than before for the evangelizing our sable 
brethren. A kind disposition to ameliorate their condition 
has appeared in many worthy planters, some of whom 
have expressed a readiness not only to permit but to 
encourage the labours of missionaries among them.' 

The Committee of the Council and Assembly of Tobago 
had in 1799 published a report in which they affirmed the 


— for legislative councils of that day — extraordinary opinion 
that endeavour should be made ' to instil into the minds 
of the negroes the principles of religion and morality,' and 
that immediate measures should be taken ' to provide such 
a number of missionaries as the legislature may judge 
necessary for that purpose ^.' In consequence of this, in 
February, 1808, Mr. Richard Elliott was sent to labour 
among the 20,oco negroes of Tobago. He was allowed by 
some of the principal planters to preach to the negroes on 
their estates, and he conducted services in the town of 
Scarborough. He was at first greatly encouraged in his 
work. His wife joined him in January, 1809, having 
previously acquired ' an art which may render her useful 
among the female slaves, and at the same time lessen the 
great expense likely to be incurred by this mission'-.' 

In May, 1808, Mr. Elliott was joined by a colleague, 
Mr. Isaac Purkis. For a time he was well received by 
many of the negroes, and by some of the planters, but it is 
curious indeed in the Report for 1810 to read this sentence 
from one of his letters : ' It has even been proposed to the 
Council and Assembly of Tobago that a salary should be 
allowed me by the colony ; and although my friends have 
failed in their kind efforts for this purpose, yet perhaps 
their wishes may eventually be accomplished ^.' This 
sentence further illustrates the tentative condition of the 
home administration, and the persistence with which at 
this epoch the Directors impressed upon their missionaries 
the duty of securing at all hazards, if possible, local support. 
Mr. Purkis was recalled to England in June, 1810, and in 
1 81 1 the Directors decided to abandon the Tobago 
Mission on the ground of expense, ' the necessaries of life 
being purchasable only at an enormous rate,' and the 
pecuniary assistance rendered by the planters not being 
equal to their desires. The Board had intended to send 
Mr. Elliott to North America, but on learning that in 
May, 1 81 2, a chapel had been erected, and in deference to 

'■ Reports, 1795-1S14, p. 28S. ^ Ibid. 1795-1S14, p. 316. 

3 Ibid. 1795-1814, p. 345. 


Mr. Elliott's wishes, they allowed him to stay at Tobago 
a while longer. Yet the mission still hung fire, and in 
March, 18 14, Mr. Elliott removed to Le Resouvenir. The 
Directors remark that they will be not unwilling to send 
another missionary should the inhabitants be willing • to 
defray a part of the heavy expense.' 

With Mr. Purkis there had been sent out to Demerara 
another missionary student, Thomas Adam by name. 
Failing to find any useful opening in Demerara he went, 
in August, 1H09, to Trinidad with letters of recommen- 
dation to some of the residents. He conducted services 
in the Freemasons' Hall in Port au Spain, and a sum 
of ;^500 was subscribed towards the building of a chapel. 
Desirable as the scheme was, the Directors did not con- 
sider this the purpose for which he had been sent out, and 
urged him as far as possible to evangelize the negroes. 
That the Directors did not obstinately adhere to this view 
is shown by the fact that they ultimately gave £100 to 
the chapel fund ; and Mr. Adam on his part did all that 
he could to gain an influence for good over the negroes. 
The new chapel was opened in 1S13, and Mr. Adam, in 
addition to his evangelistic work, did all in his power to 
educate his hearers, and to circulate Christian literature 
among them. But the cost of the mission in proportion 
to the results from it still weighed upon the minds of the 
Directors. In 1816 they placed on record their view that 
a Director should visit the West Indies, as Mr. Campbell 
had visited Africa, and for a similar purpose ; and they 
further state, ' Many of the planters may, by personal 
application, be induced to engage for the support of pious 
mechanics as the instructors of their slaves ; and that not 
only the present stations might be rendered less burden- 
some to the Society, but that new stations might be formed 
which should require little or no financial support from 

In March, 181 8, Mr. James Mercer reached Port au 
Spain to act as the colleague of Mr. Adam, whose work 
had developed by itineration among the various planta- 


tions. One feature of special interest was the visits he 
paid to 600 slaves u^ho had been captured in the war 
with the United States in 181 2, set free, and landed upon 
Trinidad. Some of these had acquired a knowledge of 
the Gospel in the United States, and these co-operated 
in the efforts to make it more widely known. But in 1818 
the governor exacted from the missionaries a penalty 
bond of ;^5oo to abstain from all ' contentious refutations ' 
of the tenets of the Churches of England and Rome. 
Those who would not sign this were debarred from preach- 
ing. Mr. Adam signed it, ' unwilling that his usefulness 
should be suspended.' Mr. Mercer declined on the ground 
that it was ' a virtual surrender of religious liberty, and 
of the rights of British subjects.' In this he was upheld 
by the Directors, who represented in a deputation to Earl 
Bathurst that while they entertained no fear that their 
missionaries either publicly or privately would speak ' con- 
tentiously,' yet this action of the governor's was a violation 
of the Act of Toleration. Meanwhile Mr. Mercer's chapel 
was closed, and he retired for a time to Demerara. The 
governor, however, persisted in his high-handed action, 
and in 1820 the Directors recalled Mr. Adam. 

In 1822 Mr. Mercer returned to Trinidad and preached 
to the negroes on the estates of Jordan Hill and Couva. 
In the hope of reviving and strengthening the mission 
Mr. Thomas Dexter was sent out to join him in 1823, 
but he died after a residence of less than six months. The 
outbreak in Demerara in this year exerted a very adverse 
influence for a time upon all missionary efforts in the West 
Indies. Mr. Mercer was summoned before the Governor 
of Trinidad, but nothing could be alleged against him. 
This did not prevent all kinds of slander and opposition, 
due, as the Directors point out, to the fact that he was 
a missionary. Finally, deeming his prospects of usefulness 
hopeless for the present, in 1825 the Directors recalled him, 
and the Trinidad Mission came to an end. 

[Authorities. — Keports and Letters; Evangelical Magazhu, 1S07-25.] 



In 1807 the Society established a mission in Demerara. 
Mr. H. H, Post, a planter, concerned for the spiritual wel- 
fare of the slaves and others under his care, had written to 
the Directors urging them to send out a minister, and 
promising his own protection and assistance. Mr. John 
Wray, a student at Gosport, was selected for this service. 
He was about twenty-seven years old, not highly educated 
or richly endowed with natural gifts, but a man of sterling 
character, sound common sense, and truly Christian in spirit. 
He landed in the colony February 6, 1808. The slave 
trade has been ended by a Bill passed in 1807, but slavery 
itself was not yet abolished in British colonies, and as the 
missionary's vessel sailed into Demerara, the last vessel 
to import a cargo of slaves there was sailing out. He was 
received and hospitably entertained by Mr. Post at Le 
Resouvenir, his plantation, some eight miles from George 
Town. Wray's work lay chiefly among Mr. Post's negroes, 
and any from neighbouring estates who were allowed 
to attend the meetings. Numbers of white and free 
coloured persons came to the services, many of them 
from considerable distances. It was only in this way 
that religious and educational work could be carried on 
among the slaves. The local authorities were hostile, or 
at least indifferent from the first. Many of the planters, 
demoralized as masters always are by the slavery from 


which they profit, feared the consequences of such work as 
Mr. Wrays. Moreover, it was only with the goodwill of 
the owner that anything could be done, and this was not 
in many cases to be had. 

But Mr. Post was a tower of strength. A chapel capable 
of holding 600 hearers was built, mainly at his expense 
and upon his land, the Directors contributing ;^ico. It 
was opened September 11, 1808. Mr. Post built also 
a minister's house, expending on these works over ;i^j,ooo. 
But while there was much latent, if little open, opposition 
on the part of planters and residents, there was also some 
sympathy, for the Directors note in 1809 that i^200 had 
been raised locally for the support of the mission. On 
March 6 of that year Mr. Wray wrote, ' I have reason to 
believe that more than 150 of these poor ignorant people 
are earnestly seeking the salvation of their souls.' He also 
notes that many of those who formerly ' usually spent their 
time in drumming, dancing, intoxication, and other evils, 
now employ their leisure time in receiving and giving 
religious instruction, and in prayer and praise.' 

In 1809 Mr. Adam, who had been in Trinidad, and 
Mr. Davies reached Demerara, escorting Miss Ashford, 
who became the devoted and energetic wife of Mr. Wra)-. 
Mr. Davies took up work in the town of Staebrok, after- 
wards known more widely as George Town. During 1810 
the influence of the mission steadily extended. It was 
given to Mr. Post to begin the good work, but not to 
watch its progress. He died in 1809, having done what 
he could for the continuity of the mission by securing 
to the Society the chapel and minister's house at Le 
Resouvenir, and by endowing it to the extent of ;£^ioo per 
annum. The moral and spiritual force of Mr. Wray's 
work extended far beyond the limits of his own sphere. 
Some planters and overseers and residents were stirred up 
to do what they could in their own localities, negroes who 
occasionally attended the services or school carried what 
they learned to other districts, and the prospect of the 
mission seemed very bright when the first conflict with the 


authorities occurred. The occasion for this is set forth in 
the Report for 1 8 1 2 : — 

' In Jamaica and in some of the other West India colonies, 
the governors have thought proper to issue proclamations, 
forbidding, under severe penalties, the assembling of the 
negroes before the hour of sun-rising, or after that of sun- 
setting. This regulation, though professedly intended 
merely to prevent meetings for the purpose of mutiny or 
rebellion, was found to operate almost to the total suppres- 
sion of the assemblies of the slaves for religious instruction, 
as the principal opportunities for that end were from seven 
to nine in the evening, after they had done their work ; that 
part of the Sabbath in which they are not engaged at 
market being totally insufficient for poor ignorant negroes, 
who must needs have line upon line, and whose chief 
advantage was derived from learning the catechism, which, 
as few of them can read, must be repeated to them again 
and again.' 

The Governor of Demerara at this time, Mr. H. W. 
Bentinck, issued this proclamation for the colony on 
May 25, 181 1. In this action he was following the bad 
example set him in Jamaica. Mr. Wray saw at once that 
if this proclamation were upheld it was fatal to his work. 
Protests proving ineffective with the governor, the mis- 
sionary acted with characteristic energy and sagacity. 
He sailed for England in the first vessel upon which he 
could secure a passage. His daughter's account of this 
episode is very graphic : — 

' My father left his Excellency, and at once proceeded 
to the waterside to look for a ship about to sail for 
England. There was but one, taking in cotton, and it 
would sail in a few days. " Captain," he said, " I want to 
go to England." " Oh," said the captain, " I can't possibly 
take you : every berth is filled with cotton bales." " But," 
said my father, " I will do without a berth ; I will sleep 
on the cotton bales — only let me come on board, and 
I will put up with any inconvenience." The captain 
yielded; my father rode back to Le Resouvenir, told 

II. Y 


mother of his interview with the Governor, and that he 
had taken his passage in a ship which would sail in a few 
days ^.' 

In this way, unconscious as Mr. Wray was of the impor- 
tance of the step he took, began that relation to the British 
Government and influence of the Society's missionary 
labour in the West Indies which later on, in consequence 
of the judicial murder of Mr. Smith, had so much to do 
with the final triumph of emancipation. Mr. Wray's object 
in visiting England was to obtain through the Colonial 
Office the immediate repeal of the obnoxious proclamation. 
The Directors warmly supported his action ; he was intro- 
duced to Wilberforce and Stephens, who used all their 
influence to aid him, the latter drawing up the memorial 
to Lord Liverpool. The prime minister himself conferred 
with Mr. Wray and the Secretaries of the Society. The 
effect of Wray's visit in bringing home to the friends of 
emancipation the work yet to be done is referred to in 
Wilberforce's Life — 

'The reluctant conviction that their work was incom- 
plete was being forced upon the abolition leaders. The 
West Indies clung too fondly to the vices of the old 
system ; and though perhaps Mr. Wilberforce himself did 
not as yet look forward to those great attempts to which 
he was led on step by step by the gradual progress of 
events, yet the present vigilance and zeal of the protector 
of the negro were undoubtedly preparing for them.' 

A later extract runs : 'His present object was to stop 
the " persecution of the missionaries, or rather, the for- 
bidding religion to the slaves of Trinidad and Demerara." 
For this purpose he appealed earnestly to Lord Liverpool, 
pointing out to him that it was " a cause interesting not 
merely to the objects of the particular sect to which the 
missionaries belonged, but all religionists will make it 
their own.'" 

The result of Wray's visit is told in the following letter 

* The Life and Labours of John Wray, by Thomas Rain (1892), p. 55. 


to the Secretaries of the Society, from Sir Robert Peel, 
dated November 15, iHii : — 

'In consequence of the instructions which have been 
transmitted by his lordship (Lord Liverpool) to the 
Governor of Demerara, the slaves in that colony will be 
permitted to assemble for Divine worship and instruction 
on Sundays between the hours of five in the morning and 
nine at night, and on the other days of the week between 
the hours of seven and nine at night.' 

Even before this communication reached the Directors, 
Wray was on his way back. He sailed on November 13, 
in a ship whose authorities were at first reluctant to book 
him. ' When the owner was applied to, he said he did not 
much like to have missionaries in his ship, for the devil was 
against them, and he was the prince of the power of the 
air, and perhaps he would raise a storm at sea and the ship 
would be lost.' But the voyage passed uneventfully, and 
Wray landed in Demerara on December 18, after an absence 
of just six months, an absence in which he had accomplished 
vastly more than the immediate object of his visit. 

Mr. Wra)^ waited upon Governor Bentinck the day after 
his return. * He did not receive me very politely,' is the 
missionary's account of the interview. He had not only 
not recalled the proclamation, but he was at the time 
secretly scheming to delay, and if possible defeat, the policy 
of the Home Government. Tidings of Bentinck's action 
reached Lord Liverpool. He was recalled, and on April 7, 
J 8 1 2, the acting-governor, H. L. Carmichael, issued the 
following proclamation : — 

'Whereas I have received instructions from His Royal 
Highness the Prince Regent to recall the Proclamation 
issued on the 25th of May, 18 it, and to give every aid to 
missionaries in the instruction of religion, the Proclamation 
of the above date is hereby recalled, and the following 
regulations will take place from this date : — 

'''First. — It is to be understood that no limitation or 
restraint can be enforced upon the right of instruction upon 
particular estates, provided the meetings for that purpose 

Y 2 


take place upon the estate, and with the consent and 
approbation of the proprietor and overseer of such estate. 

^^'' Seco7idly. — (Hours of meeting on Sundays and other 
days to be as stated in the instructions sent out by the Home 
Government, ah'eady given.) 

' " Thirdly. — All chapels and places for Divine worship 
or public resort shall be registered in the Colonial Secretary's 
office, and the names of persons officiating in them shall be 
made known to the Governor ; and the doors of the places 
shall remain open during the time of public worship or 

' " Given under my hand and seal-at-arms at the Camp 
House, this 7th day of April, 1812, and in the fifty-second 
year of His Majesty's Reign."' 

The joy of the missionaries can readily be imagined. 
They called on the acting-governor, who then, and on later 
occasions, showed himself heartily sympathetic towards 
their good work. ' He assured us of his assistance and 
protection, and said that if we could suggest any plan for 
the furtherance of the Gospel he would communicate it to 
the Prince Regent. He gave us some very excellent 
advice, and observed that, to make ourselves as useful as 
possible, it would be well to meet the prejudices of the 
planters as far as we could.' In his reply to their address 
also, he expressed himself in a way which might with 
advantage have been followed by other colonial governors : 

' It is my opinion that your exertions, if properly directed, 
may be advantageous to negroes and others, both in religion 
and morality — as also to the political government of the 
West India colonies in general — by instilling the doctrines 
of Christ into the minds of all ranks of the community, to 
render to the King loyalty and his dues in all respects ; 
and the Divine precepts (which) further enjoin governors, 
magistrates, masters, and servants, not only their respective 
duties to the public, but their reciprocal conduct to each 
other as explained in the Holy Scriptures, inculcating 
toleration and benevolence. I feel much satisfaction, 
gentlemen, in your assurance that it will be always your 


concern to perform your duty as missionaries, so as to 
meet the approbation of His Royal Highness the Prince 
Regent. In which case you may rely on every assistance 
and support in my power.' 

In consequence of this action of the acting-governor, the 
missionaries were greatly encouraged, and stimulated to 
more active exertions. They endeavoured to obtain from 
the Government grants of land in various parts of the colony 
upon which chapels might be built, and also the abolition 
of the heavy marriage fees for free coloured persons, 
which had hitherto amounted to from £16 to £20. The 
result of these charges had been that large numbers lived 
together without marriage. A strong side light is thrown 
upon the accursed system of slavery, by recalling the fact 
that slaves in the colony were actually prohibited by law 
from marrying. In these efforts the missionaries were only 
partially successful. Mr. Wray's influence continued to 
grow, and from time to time he undertook the delicate 
work, when called in by those most closely concerned, of 
acting as mediator between overseer and negroes, or 
between the authorities and the slaves. This was a tribute 
to his character and influence, but it was work which 
required wary walking. 

' Not, however, as preacher and peacemaker, in public or 
by the master alone, were the services of Mr. Wray sought 
and willingly afforded ; as Christian pastor and as pleader 
for the wronged and the oppressed, he was often inquired 
for more privately and by persons of all ranks, both bond 
and free ; and himself and his excellent wife were at times 
much engaged in ministering to mind or body diseased, at 
the bedside of suffering or death, in the planter's house or 
humbler cot ; or elsewhere listening to pleas for sympathy 
and counsel by the wronged bondman, or watching the 
course of justice as professedly administered \' 

How high the prejudice against the negro ran in those 
days in the colony, and how difificult was the missionary's 
position, is illustrated by an incident : — 

^ Life and Labours of John IVray,-^. 78. 


' A white lady from town came to spend a few days with 
us on account of her health. Mrs. Wray has at school 
some children of colour whose parents and friends are rich 
planters, and who have put their children under her care 
to receive an education. This lady took Mrs. Wray aside, 
and said if we were accustomed to have these children to 
sit at table with us, she would thank her to send her a little 
of something into her chamber, for she could not think of 
eating with them. She spoke of them in the most de- 
grading language, considering them of a different species 
from us ^.' 

The plantation of Mr. Post had, after his death, passed 
into other hands, and with the transfer the welfare of all 
the hapless slaves. 

• The negroes on Success picked the whole of yesterday 
(Sunday, the 14th). They came to ask my advice, but 
I found it difficult to give it them in their situation as 
slaves. I could only read to them the fourth command- 
ment. Oh, what a curse is slavery ! . . , I hear the cart-whip 
every day on Le Resouvenir. Asia, the driver of the female 
gang, makes sad complaints, with tears in her eyes, of the 
treatment they meet with from the manager. Larger baskets 
than usual are given to them, and he flogs them severely if 
they are not full. It is in vain to deny this, because our 
own eyes see it, and our ears hear it. Our own senses 
cannot deceive us. Cursed slavery! We endeavoured to 
comfort Asia. . . . The whip is constantly sounding in our 
ears ; this renders our situation uncomfortable, and we can 
do these poor people no good ^.' 

On October 6, 1^12, Mr. Vanderhaas, Mr. Post's successor, 
died. Complaints of the cruelties committed towards the 
negroes had reached the fiscal's ears, and he consulted 
Mr. Wray as to their truth. The missionary aided the 
fiscal in his inquiries, the wrongs of the negroes were in 
some small measure alleviated, and Mr. Wray remarks, 
' though many evil reports were soon circulated about me, 

' U/c and Lalwiirs of Jolm Wray, p. 78. 
= Ibid. p. 80. 


that I was the cause of the negroes going to the Fiscal, I do 
not regret what I have done.' 

Wray's work at Le Resouvenir, so well begun, was soon 
to end by his transfer to what was then the separate Crown 
Colony of Berbice, seventy miles to the west of Demerara. 
During his visit to England Wray had been consulted by 
the Commissioners for Managing the Crown Property in 
South America. Of these Wilberforce and Stephens were 
the chief. In 1812 Zachary Macaulay was Secretary to 
the Commissioners, and a letter from him was presented 
to the missionary on October 20 by A. A. De la Court, 
Crown Agent in Berbice. It requested Wray to afford 
all assistance in his power to establish a mission among 
the Crown slaves in Berbice^ of whom there were then 
],]43. The colony had been badly administered, and the 
estates were transferred to the Commissioners in j8ii. 
They influenced the Government to determine ' not to 
barter away both the bodies and souls of these poor people,' 
and this request to Wray was a part of their scheme of 
amelioration. To Wray this request came as a call from 
God, and after consideration he resolved to obey it should 
the Directors confirm his decision. He at once visited 
Berbice, at that period a difficult and fatiguing journey. 
Two clergymen, one belonging to the Church of England, 
the other a Dutch Lutheran, were supposed to care for 
the spiritual needs of the colony. Truth compels Wray 
to state that more unsuitable men than those who from 
time to time held these offices could hardly be imagined. 

How colonial opinion regarded the Commission is indi- 
cated by the fact that the governor requested more troops 
as soon as its authority was established. Wray returned to 
Demerara for a time. Early in 1813 Providence Chapel 
was opened in George Town under the care of Mr. Davies. 
In April, 181 3, Wray paid a second visit to Berbice. In 
May, Demerara sustained a great loss in the sudden death 
of Governor Carmichael. The missionary's mind was 
greatly exercised about the coming change. ' My mind 
is much exercised about moving to Berbice, as it will be 


neither so pleasant nor healthy as the East Coast of 
Demerara ; and the Crown estates being very distant one 
from another, very inconveniently situated, and in un- 
healthy spots, great labour will attend the undertaking. 
The negroes also are mostly unacquainted with English, 
and to be understood, it will be necessary to learn the 
Creole.' But a favourable reply had been received from 
the Directors, and on June 6, 1H13, Wray preached his 
farewell sermon at Le Resouvenir. On June 16, with his 
family, he sailed in a colony schooner from Demerara to 
the Berbice River. 

* Thus we bade farewell to Demerara, and to our beloved 
home and congregation at Le Resouvenir. During our 
residence there we had experienced many blessings, and 
though we had met with great opposition, yet we had 
many friends among the planters who had treated us with 
great kindness, and who expressed much sorrow at our 
leaving. I trust also the Lord has blessed our labours, 
and that many, by the preaching of the Gospel, have been 
called out of darkness into marvellous light, and have 
been turned from sin and Satan to serve the true and 
living God ^.' 

' Life and Labotivi of John Wray, p. 98. 


wray's work in berbice 

Wray still remained connected with the Society, although 
he had now become responsible to the Commissioners of 
the Crown estates, and acted as their agent, they finding 
most of the money required for his work. His reception 
was favourable on the whole, but one planter who called 
upon him soon after his' arrival expressed the sentiments 
held by a good many. 

* " Well, Mr. Wray," he said, " come to Berbice to make 
your fortune ? We all come here for that, you know." My 
father replied that was not his object. He had come to 
Berbice to tell to all, white and black, that " Jesus Christ 
came into the world to save sinners." Mr. K. replied, 
" That won't do, Mr. Wray ; we won't have the blacks 
taught. Now, we wish to be friendly, and if you will give 
up that nonsense, we will soon put you in the way of 
making your fortune." My father of course declined ; the 
interview ended ; Mr. K. left, politely telling my father he 
was either a fool or a madman ^.' 

New Amsterdam now became Wray's head quarters, and 
he did what he could to instruct and help to ameliorate the 
terrible condition of the Crown negroes atDageraad, an estate 
thirty-five miles up the Berbice River. He attempted to 
establish schools wherever possible. During his early 
years in Berbice he often visited his old station at Le 

* Life and Labours of John Wray,-^. loi. 


Resouvenir, as some years passed before a satisfactory suc- 
cessor to himself was established there. During one of 
these visits he had a long talk with Governor Murray, who 
in later years was to become notorious for his infamous 
treatment of both missionaries and negroes. The governor 
said he approved of oral instruction being given to the 
slaves, but would set his face against their being taught to 
read. He thought this would endanger the peace of the 
colony. Soon after this conversation Murray became 
Governor of Berbice. and Wray did teach the negroes to 
read, having first told the governor he should not desist 
from so doing unless officially forbidden. Fear of the 
Commissioners probably kept Murray from so prohibiting 

Slaves had to grow their own food, and as they toiled 
all the week the only time they had for cultivating their 
gardens and for market barter was the Sunday. Wray, 
though bitterly opposed by the planters, was successful in 
putting an end to this state of things by getting the Crown 
slaves allowed one day a fortnight in which to attend to 
their gardens, thus gaining time for their instruction on the 
Sunday. Constant difficulties arose because of the preva- 
lent degrading Obeah superstition and practices. To these 
the Government opposed imprisonment and even death ; 
Wray believed they could be exorcised only by the spread 
of light and knowledge. 

In October 13, 1813, Wray removed to Sandvoort, hoping 
to find it a healthier residence, and there the house of the 
agent, absent on a visit to England, was his home until 
May, 1 8 15, when he returned again to New Amsterdam. 
In the course of 1S14 an influence developed which was to 
be for years to come a great hindrance to all progress in 
the colony. This was the persistent and increasing rumours 
of impending slave insurrections. For these there was never 
much real foundation ; although the atrocious cruelties 
with which many of the whites treated their slaves might 
well produce in the minds of the oppressors guilty fears of 
a retribution which they well deserved. But these rumours 


increased the hatred exhibited towards Wray and his asso- 
ciates, and the insults which from time to time, both pub- 
licly and privately, were heaped upon them. The character 
of the men who on the one hand committed the cruelties, 
and on the other denounced missionaries as a source of 
danger to the colony, may be judged from this example : — 

' The licentiousness of some of the whites is awful. We 
cannot keep a servant virtuous, for the manager takes 
a delight in prostituting those in our house. He obliges 
them to comply by threats and actual punishments. We 
have been constrained, by his base conduct, to part with 
four or five valuable servants, three of whom have each 
a child by this unnatural man.' 

' When guests, or callers for accommodation at the 
houses of the managers of the Crown estates, could be 
guilty^ as occasionally they were, of the grossest violations 
of politeness and decency towards the pioneer, it may be 
taken as an indication that ill-will towards the plans and 
purposes of the Commissioners had, since the appre- 
hended insurrection, become more general, certainly more 
loud-voiced. E. g. one Sunday evening, company at the 
Sandvoort manager's set up loud song-singing, seemingly 
to outrival hymns being sung at worship ; and later, when 
going home, the rowdy guests visited Mr. Wray's residence, 
rousing the retired inmates with indecent shouts and 
attempts to effect an entrance, all with apparent impunity. 
. . . The penalties of the new laws, too, were very severe, 
a slave leaving his estate without a pass being liable to 
lashes up to thirty-nine ; singing or shouting or uttering 
songs of certain kinds to slaves on other estates when pass- 
ing along river or creek, liable to lashes up to 100 ; and 
a white person permitting his slaves so to sing, &c., to a fine 
up to 100 guilders (nearly £']).'' 

' The congregation of New Amsterdam grew in numbers, 
both of whites and free coloured people, as well as of negro 
slaves. Thus, October i, 181 5, twenty whites were present 
at evening service, on the 8th twenty whites and from 
thirty to forty free people of colour. But of the twenty 


whites present on the ist he notes that four were living in 
open and notorious adultery, another was a profane infidel, 
and most were living in fornication ^' 

Some slaves on the West Coast, Berbice, were seized. 
'No one,' as far as Mr. Wray could learn, 'had been 
injured by them, neither was any property destroyed, yet 
on April 12 six of the unhappy people apprehended on 
the West Coast were executed in New Amsterdam as 
ringleaders, their heads cut off and fixed upon poles on 
the different estates to which they belonged ; one of them 
white with age, whose master, Mr. Rader, told Mr. Wray 
that he denied to the last having any bad intentions. 
Several others were flogged under the gallows, and some 
were transported, A proclamation was subsequently issued 
to the effect that as "the privilege allowed the slaves of 
the colony, of publicly or privately dancing on estates 
and other places at stated periods, had been perverted 
by them to purposes of the vwst dangerous nature, all 
dancing was forbidden until next year, 1H15, or the further 
pleasure of the Court " ; but, notwithstanding the charges 
brought against the missionaries and instruction, assigning 
no blame to them -.' 

The routine of Wray's work at this time consisted in 
preaching to the negroes on Sunday, and doing all that 
he could for their instruction and general welfare around 
Sandvoort and New Amsterdam. Sickness in himself and 
in the members of his family was often a great hindrance. 
From time to time he still paid visits to Demerara. In 
1 815 some of the worst evils on the Crown estates were 
removed by the appointment of a new and better agent 
and assistant-agent. A brief period of promise ensued, 
to be followed by the dark hours of seeming triumph to 
the enemy and oppressor, immediately preceding the final 
victory of emancipation. In November, i(Si5, an active 
Auxiliary Bible Society was formed by Wray, which 
proved a source of usefulness for many years. In 18 16 

' Life and Labours of John Wray, pp. 130, 131, 145. 
* Ibid. p. 122. 


a portion of the Crown estates was restored to the Dutch 
Company, to whom they had formerly belonged. This was 
for a time fatal to Wray's work with the negroes, as the 
Dutch managers were hostile to their instruction. 

At the close of 181 7 Wray visited England a second 
time, seeking the aid of the British Government against 
intolerable cruelty perpetrated in its name upon a negro — 
one example only of many such horrors : — 

' A most cruel punishment was inflicted on a woman — 
I think her name was America. She was in the last stage 
of pregnancy. In that state, stripped of all clothing, 
she was fastened down to the ground and inhumanly 
flogged by the drivers within an inch of her life. The 
babe of course was killed, and she was for a long time at 
death's door. And what was her offence? The manager 
who witnessed the punishment had, as almost all the white 
men. his kept mistress, and she had, as her servants, as 
many negro girls as she chose. One of these girls was 
a daughter of America. This girl, for some trifling offence, 
was most severely flogged. Her mother, hearing of it, 
went to her mistress to inquire into the affair. When she 
saw her child had been so cruelly treated, she no doubt 
spoke her mind. Her offence was "impudence" to this 
mistress. When my parents heard of it, and more too, my 
father could bear it no longer. The lashes inflicted on 
these poor creatures seemed to eat into his very soul. No 
redress could be got in the Colony, and he determined to 
go to England ^.' 

Mr. Wray saw Earl Bathurst, and received from him the 
assurance that if he ' returned to Berbice he should receive 
protection from the Colonial Government, and the respect 
due to a minister of the Gospel' His visit also did much to 

* A printed account since met with {Evangelical Magazine, 1818, p. 343) 
gives tlie girl as being a little daughter, and the mother as receiving 170 
lashes, ' the savage manager meanwhile deliberately smoking his pipe during 
the punishment. This manager was, however, tried for the offence, found 
guilty, and sentenced to a fine of about £25, and three months' imprisonment' ; 
though whether before or after Wray started for England is not stated in the 
contemporary reports. 


reinforce at a critical period in the struggle the somewhat 
flagging energy of the anti-slavery crusade. 

' He appealed to His Majesty's ministers, stirred up the 
anti-slavery party, and, wherever his voice could be heard, 
he denounced slavery. He pleaded that the flogging of 
women should be abolished, that the long hours of work 
should be curtailed ; and though it took some time, and 
though it brought great persecution on him after his 
return to Berbice, he eventually gained what he asked. 
He was in constant communication with Buxton, Wilber- 
force, and others, to whom he had personally appealed ; 
never let the matter rest, and though he did not live to 
see entire emancipation (repeal of the apprenticeship 
clauses), he had the settled conviction that it would come, 
that the negroes would receive it gratefully, and that not 
a hair of a white man would be injured.' 

On Wray's return in July, 1818, a sum of money which 
had been unjustly withheld from him by a hostile official 
was paid over. Wray had long desired a suitable chapel 
in New Amsterdam ; but no owners would sell land for 
this purpose. This money enabled him to buy a house 
in which to reside, and with it also a large piece of land. 
Upon part of this land Wray built his chapel, getting 
towards it ;^400 from residents and ;^20o from the Society. 
During 1821 the debt on the building was paid, and a 
school-room added. 

The pioneer missionary had now been fifteen years in 
the colony. He was widely known and respected, and he 
had been enabled to lay good and solid foundation for 
future work. It was not unreasonable to anticipate steady 
and fruitful progress. As his biographer notes at this 
point, ' It might then seem that missionary operations, now 
well launched in both colonies, had only to go on and 
prosper ; especially as planter after planter, and manager 
after manager, testified to the beneficial results, and in 
Berbice a Governor friendly to Mr. Wray and his work 
had succeeded Mr. Bentinck. But there still existed in 
large numbers persons of another stamp, planters and 


residents, whose language and spirit were bitterly inimical, 
the lives of many of them godless and profane, and their 
view of the pious missionary and his work one of malig- 
nant and cruel hatred. These, and their like in Britain, 
keenly opposed to any interference or attempt at improv- 
ing the slave and his condition, had of late watched such 
attempts with increasing excitement, which grew as 1H33 
went on, and culminated at last in words and deeds of 
such brutality and cowardice, cruelty and crime, as to form 
one of the darkest passages of our colonial history.' To 
this dark story we must now turn. 

[Authorities. — Letters and Official Reports ; The Life and Labours of 
John IVray, compiled chief y from his own Manuscripts and Letters, by Thomas 
Rain, London, 1892.] 



UroN Mr. Wray's removal to Berbice the Directors at 
once endeavoured to supply his place in Demerara. But 
nearly four years passed before this could be done. In March, 
1817, Mr. John Smith began his work at Le Resouvenir. 
There he continued to labour quietly and successfully 
until August, 1H23, when the events occurred which made 
his name for ever memorable in the history of West 
Indian Emancipation. 

John Smith was born in 1790, and in i(So9 he first came 
under the power of religious conviction. In iHio a sermon 
based upon Isaiah Iv. 6, 7, preached at Tonbridge Chapel 
(SomersTown) by Mr. Leifchild, then of Kensington, led him 
into peace. He became a member of Tonbridge Chapel, and 
an active worker in the Sunday school and other depart- 
ments of Christian work. One of the annual missionary 
sermons preached in the Tabernacle by Mr. Jefferson, of 
Basingstoke, aroused in him the desire to become a mission- 
ary, and after a correspondence with Mr. Burder and an 
interval of two years of thought and preparation, he applied 
to the Directors and was accepted. He passed some time 
in preparatory studies under Mr. Newton at Witham in 
Essex, and in i(Si6 was appointed to succeed Mr, Wray, 
He married Jane Godden, a member of Tonbridge Chapel, 
and was ordained there December 12, 1H16, Dr. Waugh 
and the Rev. George Burder, among others, taking part 

IP -^ ^ 


.>rt^»'^>i'^, _^ 

John Wkay 


^K w 



i^9 ' 

John Foreman 
(Dcinerara) Smiti 


in the services. The young couple sailed from Liverpool 
for the colony, and reached Demerara on February 23, 

Mr. Smith's reception by the authorities was signifi- 
cant, considered in the light of later events. ' In a letter 
to his tutor, dated April 2, 1817, he says: — "Two days 
after our arrival, I waited upon the Governor, being intro- 
duced by Mr. Elliott. His excellency frowned upon 
me. He asked me what I had come to do, and how I 
purposed to instruct the negroes. I answered, by teaching 
them to read ; by teaching them Dr. Watts' Catechisms ; 
and by preaching the Gospel in a plain manner. To which 
he replied, ' If ever you teach a negro to read, and I hear 
of it, I will banish you from the colony immediately.' " 
Mr. Smith, however, waited upon the Governor a second 
time, on March 6. when his excellency read the instruc- 
tions given him by the Directors (which have recently 
received the approbation of His Majesty's Government) 
and the certificate of his ordination; in which his excellenc}' 
said he saw nothing objectionable. On which Mr. Smith 
obtained permission to preach, with the promise of the 
Governor's protection \' 

But though the authorities frowned upon him those 
whom he had come to benefit gladly welcomed him, and 
rejoiced to have once more the comfort, aid, and blessing 
which the missionary and his wife brought to many of the 
despised and ill-treated slaves. The work in George Town 
was carried on by Mr. Davies, and on the West Coast by 
Mr. Elliott. Mr. Smith devoted himself with all his heart 
to his work at Le Resouvenir. The old chapel was found 
too small. 

' In the Report for 18 19 the following extract is given 
from one of his letters to the Directors : — "If there te any- 
thing on this side heaven which excites in the heart of 
a missionary anything like a fullness of joy, it is to behold 
whole families of heathens embracing the Gospel, and 
living so as to glorify God. This joy many of your 

^ Evangelical Magazine, 1824, p. 295. 
II. Z 


missionaries realize. This joy, too. is mine ; and to hear 
these things will be the joy of the Missionary Society. 
This is noble interest for the money of British Christians, 
for the redemption of the soul is precious. It affords us, 
it will afford the Directors, great satisfaction to learn that 
the religious negroes conduct themselves with great pro- 
priety. In all my inquiries among the planters concerning 
the behaviour of the slaves who come to the chapel, I never 
heard any one of them say that religion had spoiled them, 
although some of the planters say it will spoil them, and 
this is the only reason assigned for their opposition." ' 

Mr. Wray's heart rejoiced over the success which attended 
the labours of his successor. In a letter dated August 22, 
1822, he writes : — 

* On the nth of last month I arrived at Le Resouvenir, 
spent two days with Mr. Smith, and preached to the people 
on Friday evening. I had great pleasure in seeing many 
of those who were the first-fruits of the Gospel there, 
walking in truth and rejoicing in the Lord Jesus ; others 
have been taken to their heavenly rest. They manifest 
great zeal in the ways of religion, and adorn the doctrine 
of God their Saviour. I rejoice that they have a minister 
so much interested in their spiritual welfare as Mr. Smith. 
I was also much pleased with some of his plans, parti- 
cularly his dividing them into classes, according to the 
estates to which they belong, and examining their progress 
in the Catechism in rotation. He thinks the number under 
regular instruction is about 2,000. I greatly lament that 
the missionaries in Ucmerara are not permitted to teach 
the slaves to read. Mr. Smith would willingly devote part 
of the day to this work ; and yet, after all, many do acquire 
the art of reading. I met with a negro, halfway between 
New Amsterdam and George Town, who has no opportunity 
to attend chapel, learning to read and studying Dr. Watts' 
Catechism. Indeed, all along the coast, which is about 
seventy miles, a desire for instruction prevails.' 

And later on, in February, 1823, after having laboured 
six years at his station, Mr. Smith wrote : — ' We have now 


many candidates for baptism and the Lord's Supper. Our 
average congregation is <Soo persons. We have certainly 
much cause to be thankful to the great Head of the Church 
for the success that attends our labours. We behold every 
Sabbath an overflowing congregation, behaving with praise- 
worthy decorum ; and we see them zealous for the spread 
of Christianity. They are fast abandoning their wicked 
practices for more regular habits of life, as is evident from 
the number of marriages, few of which (not one in fifty) 
have been hitherto violated. A great proportion of them 
are furnished with Bibles, Testaments, Dr. Watts' First or 
Second Catechism, and a hymn-book ; and these, being 
their whole library, they usually bring to chapel on the 
Sabbath. All our congregation, young and old, bond and 
free, are catechized every Sunday, first individually in 
classes, and afterwards collectively.' 

The events of August, 1H23, can be rightly understood 
only by those who know accurately what the state of 
feeling in Great Britain was upon emancipation, what 
slavery really was in Demerara, and also with what bitter 
dislike and prejudice the authorities and the great balk 
of. the planters and resident white population regarded the 

At this distance of time, and with our views upon slavery, 
it is hardly possible for us to conceive the hostility with 
which even such mild legislation on behalf of the negroes, 
as had been accomplished prior to icS2o, was received. The 
curse of slavery is that it degrades the master even more 
than his oppressed chattel. This has been the universal 
experience, and in the West Indies at the period of which 
we write, the general body of planters, overseers, and 
officials of various kinds, all directly interested in the 
maintenance of slavery, had fallen very low indeed in 
morality and in general intelligence, for even a slave- 
holding community. Mr. Smith in 1832 sent home to 
England a picture of slavery in Demerara which enables 
all who wish to do so to understand the treatment 
which such a cornmunity soon afterwards meted out to 

Z 2 


him. The account should be studied in its complete- 
ness ^ Quietly and temperately written it is nevertheless 
one of the most appalling descriptions of inhumanity 
exercised by man against his fellow man, ever penned. 
After sketching the plantation system, and showing how 
absolutely dependent the slave was upon the master, he 
depicts the cruel conditions of labour ; the absence of hope; 
the way in which Sunday, nominally a day of rest, was 
filched from the slave by vexatious tasks ; the savage 
cruelty of the punishments, frequently illegal, inflicted ; 
the way in which they were neglected when ill ; the pro- 
hibition of marriage ; and gives a picture of their moral and 
religious character which we venture to quote : — ■ 

* Respecting the moral character of the negro slaves, but 
little needs be said. It corresponds with their degraded 
condition. As reasonably might we look for grapes on thorn 
bushes, or figs on thistles, as to expect to find moral feeling 
among uninstructed men, and especially when they are 
slaves. Of honour or decency, they have no sense what- 
ever. They know nothing of the obligations of truth, 
honesty, sobriety, chastity, &c. They are complete masters 
of the black art of lying, and make no scruple to resort 
to it on any occasion when they fancy their interest is 
concerned. When that is the case, their word is not to 
be taken, unless corroborated by other evidence. Their 
numerous thefts are mostly of a petty kind ; housebreaking 
or highway robberies being seldom heard of as committed 
by plantation-slaves. So secure do the whites on the 
plantations feel themselves, that they are indifferent whether 
their doors or windows have any fastening or not, and they 
frequently leave the latter open all night. In profane 
swearing, the negroes generally are outdone by their 
managers : the domestics can often vie with their tutors. 
The grossest licentiousness is practised by the negroes all 
over the West Indies. Indeed, nothing short of a miracle 
can prevent it, until the system of management be altered. 

' See The Demerara Martyr : Memoirs rf the Kev. John Smith, Missionary 
to Demerara, by E. A. Wallbridge (184SJ, pp. 37-52. 


' With respect to religion, the negroes in the West Indies 
cannot be said to have any. They beheve there is a God ; 
but whatever notions they have of Him, it is certain they 
pay Him no kind of worship, nor do they appear to consider 
themselves under any obh'gation to serve Him. They have 
some confused apprehension of future rewards and punish- 
ments, for they talk of " top " and " bottom," or, in other 
words, heaven and hell. As heathens, it is a good thing 
they have no religion, because they would then require 
time, and would hold meetings, to perform its rites ; and 
as these privileges or rights would be denied them, it would 
add to their present burdens the most unbearable of all 
oppressions, and be the cause of endless stripes and 
persecutions. Christianity is worth suffering for, but the 
pagan superstitions will ever be burdensome and profit- 
less to their votaries. 

' When it is said, the negroes have no religion, such 
of them as are happily under the instructions of the 
missionaries must be excepted. Most of these are much 
attached to the Christian religion, and, considering their 
condition in life, are very regular in theii- attendance at 
public worship, and exemplary in their general conduct. 
The obvious reformation in the characters and morals 
of the negroes that attend upon the missionaries, is fre- 
quently attributed, by the planters, to their own superior 
management. But the single fact, that no such reformation 
takes place among those who are not within the sphere of 
the missionaries" exertions, though under managers equally 
skilful, is sufficient to refute all such speculative reasoning. 
That many of the Christian negroes conduct themselves 
in a manner highly creditable to their profession is indis- 
putable ; and yet this very circumstance often exposes 
them to the hatred and persecution of their masters. 
Could Christianity be reduced to a mere system of moral 
duties, and divested of its purity and devotional spirit, it 
would probably excite less disgust and opposition ; but 
while it teaches men to live soberly, righteously, and godly, 
it will subject its sincere professors, who are slaves, to 


perpetual vexations. The patience and constancy of some 
of the Christian negroes under severe sufferings on account 
of their religion, are truly astonishing. Neither the whip, 
nor the stocks, nor the dark hole, nor their being deprived 
of their allowance of food, nor the additional work laid 
on them, can conquer their attachment to their chapel 
and their l^iblc. Some among them will, of course, relin- 
quish their holy religion, and sacrifice their brightest 
hopes, through a timid fear of temporary punishment, 
or the promise of trifling gain. 

' A transient resident in the West Indies can know 
little or nothing of slavery as it exists on the plantations. 
Though he travel the country over, he will still be in the 
dark respecting this mystery of iniquity. The planter 
will not, of course, present himself for examination. He is 
interested in concealing the evils and enormities of negro 
slavery. The most odious part of the system is necessarily 
withdrawn from public view. P>ery stranger is treated 
with hospitality ; how then can he attribute anything 
inhuman to his kind host ? But, whatever such persons 
(chiefly sailors and merchants), on their return to Britain, 
report in palliation of a system with which they had no 
opportunity of becoming thoroughly acquainted, should be 
listened to with great caution. Their knowledge extends 
no further than to what they have heard from an inter- 
ested party, or saw in the few slaves emplo}'ed in domestic 
concerns, or as jobbers, whose condition, generally, is 
much better than that of the plantation gang.' 

After indicating how greatly the evils of the system are 
aggravated by the fact that so many of the proprietors 
were absentees, leaving the management of their estates to 
men who were not unfrequently worse in moral type than 
even the slaves, the sketch closes with the impassioned 
words : — 

' The British nation has done well in obtaining from 
Government enactments prohibiting the importation of 
Africans into the West Indies ; but what single legislative 
measure have we, as a nation, yet adopted, for lightening 


the grievous burdens under which those already there are 
daily suffering ; for protecting them against oppression ; for 
raising them in the scale of being ; or for securing their 
posterity from interminable bondage ? To nurture this 
system of " slavery is a foul blot on the British character, 
which every lo\'er of his country should dedicate his whole 
life to efface." ' 

Something /lad at last been done — very gi'udgingly and 
unwillingly, it is true — by the House of Commons to 
alleviate these evils, and one of the first consequences of 
their action was to make Smith himself the hapless victim 
of most foul injustice. Wray's second visit to England 
was a critical period in the emancipation movement. He 
was in frequent consultation with Wilberforce and the other 
anti-slavery leaders. In iVIarch, i(S23, Wilberforce published 
' An Appeal to the Religion, Justice, and Humanity of the 
Inhabitants of the British Empire, on behalf of the Negro 
Slaves in the West Indies.' Upon Thomas Fovvell Buxton 
at this time the mantle of Wilberforce was falling, and as 
a consequence of Wilberforce's Appeal the Anti-Slavery 
Society was formed with Buxton as vice-president, and he 
gave notice that on May 15, 1H23, ' He should submit 
a motion that the House should take into consideration the 
state of slavery in the British Colonies.' On that date he 
moved • That the state of slavery is repugnant to the 
principles of the British Constitution and of the Christian 
religion ; and that it ought to be gradually abolished, with 
as much expedition as may be found consistent with a due 
regard to the well-being of the parties concerned.' Canning 
met this with the following amendments, which- were 
carried : — 

' First. That it is expedient to adopt effectual and decisive 
measures for ameliorating the condition of the slave popula- 
tion in His Majesty's Colonies. 

' Second. That, through a determined and persevering, 
but at the same time judicious and temperate enforcement 
of such measures, this House looks forward to a progressive 
improvement in the character of the slave population, such 


as may prepare them for a participation in those civil rights 
and privileges which are enjoyed by other classes of His 
Majesty's subjects. 

' Third. That this House is anxious for the accomplish- 
ment of this purpose at the earliest period that shall be 
compatible with the well-being of the slaves themselves, 
with the safety of the Colonies, and with a fair and equit- 
able consideration of the interests of private proprietors.' 

In accordance with these resolutions the Government 
addressed circular letters to the colonial governors, con- 
taining copies of them, and recommending reforms. In 
the case of Crown Colonies Orders in Council were sent 
enjoining the limitation of the hours of labour to nine 
a day, and absolutely prohibiting the flogging of female 

As soon as the Order in Council reached Berbice the 
governor asked Mr. Wray to explain fully to the negroes 
from the pulpit what it meant. By this means the risk 
of such troubles as soon occurred in Demerara was entirely 
averted. The slaves, knowing exactly what had been done, 
remained quiet and law-abiding. But the Governor of 
Demerara, although he had received the Order in Council 
on July 7, deliberately kept it back. Not content with 
this disregard of duty he talked about the Order so that 
his servants heard him. Plantation managers talked about 
it with their negro mistresses, and rumours, some accurate, 
some wild, soon spread among the slaves. Weeks passed, 
and the idea seized upon large numbers of them that 
although the king had ordered the slaves to be freed 
the governor would not make this fact known. Mr. Smith, 
on being appealed to, told the negroes they were mis- 
taken in supposing that freedom had been granted, 
but said ' that something was come for their good ; and 
advised patience, therefore, until the governor should see 
fit to make it known.' Further delay led the slaves to 
attempt, not an insurrection with all the usual violence 
and bloodshed, but something in the nature of a strike. 
Two negroes who occasionally attended the services at Le 


Resouvenir acted as leaders. The father of one of them, 
Quamina by name, was present at a meeting of slaves on 
Sunday, August 17. This was held on Sunday because 
it was the only day on which any large meeting could 
be got together. 

' At the slaves' meeting, which did not last many minutes, 
various opinions were expressed. Some were for waiting ; 
a simple cessation from work was most in favour by those 
disposed to take any step ; whilst a proposition to seize 
any guns for the purpose of self-defence, which was urged 
by the leaders and some others, led a number who were 
only for milder action to hesitate altogether. Of these 
was Quamina. He had so far yielded to the growing 
impatience of waiting, and to the opinion more and more 
prevailing, that something should be done to bring out 
official information, as to say that they should " put down 
shovel, hoe, and cutlass \ and sit down." Disposed at the 
end of the meeting to draw back, and even, according to 
subsequent report, entreating afterwards his son, Jack 
Gladstone, with tears to refrain ; eventually he may be 
said not to have gone beyond his own counsel, protecting 
his manager from hurt, and resting or rambling only on 
the estate or its immediate vicinity. The people separated ; 
part of them, including a few connected with the chapel, 
determined on something, and, more definitely still, on 
beginning about sundown of the next day ; of course 
communicating this decision to others on various estates ".' 

This movement among the slaves became known to 
the authorities on Monday. At four in the afternoon, the 
governor, with a party of cavalry, met a band of negroes, 
and then doing what he had, with a scandalous disregard 
of duty, failed to do for six weeks, told them of the Order. 
Not unnaturally they distrusted him, would not give up 
their arms, and one of them even fired at the governor. 
About six o'clock on Monday, Mr. Smith, for the first time, 

' A very common implement ; a kind of broad and long-bladed Is-nife with 
short haft, used in cutting grass, sugarcane, &c. 
^ Life and Labours of John Wray, pp. 185, 1S6. 


learned what was going on, and that another meeting of 
slaves was to be held that evening. Soon after he was 
sent for by Mr, Hamilton, the manager of the estate, 
whose house he found surrounded by negroes demanding 
' the guns and our rights.' The slaves secured the guns, 
and Mr. Smith, after doing all in his power to check these 
riotous actions, returned to his home. The same evening 
a similar outbreak occurred at the plantation called Success, 
where Quamina acted much as Mr. Smith had done. The 
movement spread to other estates, and was led by men 
who for the most part had had little or nothing to do 
with the mission, and was most active on estates the 
officials of which were hostile to Christianity. One 
beneficial result of missionary influence was that many 
of the slaves said, ' We will take no life, for our pastors 
have taught us not to take that which we cannot give,' 
and hence many white persons who would otherwise 
certainly have been murdered were only put into the 

' It was nine o'clock in the evening before the governor 
again reached town. By midnight fresh troops were on 
their way up the coast, and at break of day the militia 
were called out, and martial law was proclaimed. The 
Scotch Church, its minister an earnest defender of slavery 
and a most bitter opponent of the missionaries, was turned 
into barracks, and all free people were put under arms. 
The Wesleyan minister presenting himself, his services were 
declined, the governor politely hinting that he might do 
more good in his own line of things than by handling 
a musket. The Rev. W. S.Austin proposed that Mr. Smith 
and himself should go amongst the people and use their 
joint influence as ministers of the Gospel of peace in 
persuading them quietly to return to their accustomed 
employments, wise counsel which, remarks Mr. Wallbridge, 
"was madly rejected." An insane, unreasoning prejudice 
against Mr. Smith and the missionary cause led the rulers 
of that day to set aside the interposition of one who might 
thus have rendered them the most valuable service. 


' Instead of this, " an immediate appeal was made to 
military force." During the 19th, further detachments of 
troops were dispatched up the coast, and all united met with 
a large body of the negroes early on Wednesday morning 
at Bachelor's Adventure. A few of these had firearms, 
but by no means skill to use them ; others, cutlasses or 
bayonets fixed on poles. 

'A parley ensued ; the commander of the troops. Colonel 
Leahy, asking the slaves what they wanted ; and they in 
reply, after details of hard usage, concluding, " and we 
hear for true that the great Buckra at home (the king) give 
us our freedom for true." Peremptorily refusing to lay 
down their arms unless certain requests for time in the 
week for themselves were at once granted, which requests 
the colonel said he would communicate to the governor, 
an hour v/as allowed them for consideration. As they still 
continued obstinate, the soldiers were ordered to fire ; and 
a conflict ensued, fatal to nearly 200 of the negroes. Several 
other brief skirmishes on that and the two following days 
took place, much to the disadvantage of the slaves ; and 
what of revolt existed, then ceased. Some fled into the 
bush, but the greater part had returned to their respective 
plantations and had resumed their labours. 

' Not a single white soldier lost his life, yet shocking 
slaughter of the negroes and a display of horrible brutality 
accompanied and followed these events. Little mercy was 
shown. Many prisoners were wantonly shot by the militia 
for mere sport, and Colonel Leahy stood upon no ceremony 
as to trial, no less than twenty-three being put to death 
by his sole authority. Martial law was continued for five 
calendar months, and a court-martial assembled to try 
prisoners, of whom there remained nearly 200. So, whilst 
the military were being honoured — Colonel Leahy by the 
Court of Policy with a vote of 200 guineas for a sword, 
and, jointly with the other officers of his regiment, with 
a vote of 500 guineas for the purchase of plate, besides 
a piece of plate of 350 guineas' value presented to the 
colonel by people on the West Coast ; the officers of 


another regiment by the Court of Policy with a vote 
of 200 guineas, and a Heutenant with one of 50 guineas — 
trials, floggings, and executions were going on incessantly. 
Seventeen prisoners were sentenced to lashes numbering 
from 200 to i,cco, and to work in chains; ten, within 
a week, receiving some 600 or 700, and five 1,000 each, of 
which one received the whole, and two almost the whole, 
at once. More still were condemned to death, and before 
the end of September forty-seven had been executed — 
e.g. thus: August 26, two; 27, two; 2S,four; September6, 
six ; 12, nine ; several being hung in chains along the East 
Coast road, others decapitated, and their heads stuck on 
poles. On May 24, 1S24, fifty prisoners still remained 
under sentence of death ; but the British public, who had 
now begun to learn and, though late, to believe the true 
state of the case, were becoming horrified, and the bloody 
proceedings were arrested by orders from home. The 
outbreak, caused really by disobedience to his sovereign's 
commands of one who had taken oath and office both as 
a military general and a civil governor, cost the Colony 
chest more than ^50,000 \' 

This episode is one, out of unhappily a large number in 
our colonial annals, which illustrates how, wherever men 
outraged Divine and human law by slavery, nemesis was 
inevitable. 'The truth is, that a community in which slavery 
exists, like a city built on the bosom of a volcano, is ever 
in danger of an overwhelming and fatal convulsion. The 
injustice — gross, cruel injustice — the irresponsible abuse of 
power — the revolting scenes of bloodshed and unmitigated 
woe — which slavery necessarily involves, will, in the very 
nature of things, invariably be accompanied by insecurity 
and dread, and oftentimes by open disturbance, and the 
frantic reaction of misery against oppression. Even the 
worm will turn on the foot that crushes it to the earth. 
And although resort to brute force, even to recover the 
inalienable right of liberty, which every man, African or 
European, possesses, is to be deplored, rather than defended ; 
' Life and Lalwuis of John lFray,Y>'p. iS^~^i. 


yet, in such a case, the terrific evils of insurrection are to 
be laid less to the charge of the half-enlightened slave, 
struggling for the freedom which is his birthright, than to 
the door of those who, by a previous resort to unhallowed 
physical compulsion, reduced him to a mere chattel — to 
a thing that might be bought and sold like an ox or ass ^' 

This unwise but very natural action on the part of the 
negroes was at once used by their enemies to destroy 
the influence of the missionaries. The brutalized public 
opinion of the colony, under the lead of an unscrupulous 
man named M'Turk, who hated Mr. Smith in particular 
and all missionaries in general, and who was at that time 
acting as captain of a troop of militia, determined to make 
the missionary the victim of its blind rage. Martial law 
had been proclaimed, and Mr. Smith was ordered to take 
up arms. Refusing to do so, an action in his case botli 
natural and right, he was summarily arrested, and with his 
wife hurried off to prison. The charge was immediately 
brought against him that by his preaching he had incited 
the slaves to rebel, and that, knowing an insurrection was 
intended, he yet took no steps to inform the authorities. 
Contrary to every principle of justice, Mr. Smith was tried 
by court-martial, and every effort was made to suborn 
witnesses from among the negroes in prison. He was 
arrested on August 21, but his trial did not begin until 
October 13. On November 24 he was pronounced guilty, 
and sentenced to be hung, and yet recommended to mercy ! 
Had he been guilty of a tithe of the charges which the court- 
martial held to be proved, he would have richly deserved 
hanging. The men who tried him knew that their verdict 
was a lie, that the whole performance was an attempt to 
crush missionary enterprise, and the members of the court- 
martial, after showing that they had murder in their hearts, 
had not the courage to carry out their own sentence, for, as 
Brougham said in the House of Commons in i<S24, ' If they 
had dared to take this innocent man's life they must them- 
selves have died the death of the murderer.' 

^ The Demerara Martyr, p. qj. 


After the sentence Mr. Smith was sent to the common 
jail, and althout^h he was known to be in bad health he 
was placed in a room on the ground floor beneath which 
was stagnant water. Here he was kept, against the strong 
protests of his doctor, for seven weeks. He was visited 
and aided to the full extent of their power by his colleague, 
Mr. Elliott, and by the Rev. W. S. Austin, minister of the 
English Church in George Town, and chaplain to the 
garrison. This gentleman was a member of the Committee 
of Inquiry, and became early and strongly convinced of 
Mr. Smith's innocence, and most bravely stood by him. 
By this action he rendered himself so obnoxious to the 
governor and the residents, that he was soon compelled to 
resign his post and return to England. But neither of 
these friends could do much to mitigate Mr. Smith's con- 
dition. The governor and military authorities, shrinking 
from the execution of their own sentence, took this equally 
efficacious method of murdering an innocent man. When 
it became evident that death was near, and not until then, 
Mr, Smith was removed to an upper room. In a letter 
from the pen of Mrs. Smith, written after the death of her 
husband, the almost incredible cruelty of the authorities is 
set forth : — 

' Myself and Mr. Smith were very desirous that Mrs. 
Elliott should be permitted to see him, and thought our 
enemies would surely comply with so small a rec^uest. if 
made by Mrs. Elliott herself; this she kindly did, but it 
was not until she had been seven times to the Sceretary s 
Office, and thirteen or fourteen days had elapsed, that per- 
mission luas given, and then only for one day ; but Mrs. 
Elliott, finding Mr. Smith so far gone, was determined to 
repeat her visits at the risk of being molested. However, 
by this time, Mr. Smiths recovery was impossible, and the 
strictness of prison rules was therefore done away, the door 
of the room in which Mr. Smith was, was left open, and 
Mrs. Elliott had the adjoining room given up to her ; but 
it was too late ! ' 

On February 6, 1824, this brave soldier in the cause of 


treedom died. It is impossible, even after the lapse of 
seventy-five years, to read the story without fierce indig- 
nation. Probably alarmed at the result of their action, 
when they learned that their victim was dead, the authori- 
ties altered the depositions of the two doctors who attended 
the inquest. 

' The Fiscal then addressed himself to Mrs. Smith, and 
asked her, what she considered to have been the cause of 
Mr. Smith's death? She replied, that he had been for some 
time past in a very delicate state of health ; but that the 
false accusations which had been brought against him, the 
cruel persecutions he had endured, and his long imprison- 
ment, had no doubt hastened his death. The words, " false 
accusations," and " cruel persecutions," were rejected with 
vehemence ; and one of the members of the Court of Policy 
said, it was not Mrs. Smith 's opinion they wanted, but the 
cause of his death. The Fiscal then asked Mrs. Smith by 
whom he had been dieted and nursed for the last month? 
She answered, by herself and Mrs. Elliott. She was then 
asked, how Mr. Padmore, the jailor, had behaved to 
Mr. Smith.'' She replied, "He has always treated 
Mr. Smith and myself with the greatest kindness.'" 

Mrs. Elliott, treated in the same fashion, refused to 
answer any of the fiscal's questions. 

' Between eight and nine o'clock in the evening, Mr. 
Thompson, the second head-constable, came to the prison, 
and told Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Elliott, that he was ordered 
to inform them that he should come at four o'clock next 
morning, to demand the body of Mr. Smith for interment. 
Mrs. Elliott then inquired, " Why they were not permitted 
to bury Mr. Smith at ten o'clock, as they intended?" She 
asked, also, " Whether any persons would be allowed to 
follow the corpse?" He answered, "No." Mrs. Elliott 
asked, " Whether Mrs. Smith and herself were included in 
that prohibition ? " He replied, " Yes." Mrs. Elliott asked, 
" From whom he received his orders ? " He answered, 
"From His Excellency." Mrs. Elliott then said, "Is it 
possible, that General Murray can wish to prevent a poor 


widow from following- her husband to the grave ? Surely, 
they do not mean to pursue their persecutions to the 
grave, as they have done to death!" And she added, 
'= If Mrs. Smith will go, I will go with her ; we are not 
prisoners ; we may go where we please." He replied, " It 
is probable there will be soldiers there, and something 
unpleasant may occur : and, therefore, I advise you not to 
go." Mrs. Smith then exclaimed, in a loud and frantic 
voice, " General Murray shall not prevent my following my 
husband to the grave, and I will go in spite of all he 
can do." 

' Mr. Thompson, finding they were so determined, 
said, " I must go to His Excellency again." He accord- 
ingly left them, and shortly after returned, and told a 
gentleman in the prison-yard, that if they attempted to 
follow the corpse, he had orders to confine them ; and 
begged he would inform them, as he would gladly avoid 
any violence. The gentleman referred to, did make this 
communication ; and they determined, as they were not 
permitted to follow, that they would meet the corpse at the 

' They, therefore, left the jail at half-past three o'clock in 
the morning, dark as it was, accompanied only by a free 
black man, with a lanthorn ; and proceeded to the burial- 
place, where they beheld the mournful spectacle of a 
beloved husband and a dear friend committed to the silent 
grave. The funeral servdce was read by the Rev. \V. S. 
Austin, who incurred general odium in the Colony, because 
he dared to vindicate the character of a man, whom he 
believed to be perfectly innocent of the crimes laid to his 

As a last insult to the dead, when the fiscal heard that 
two negroes, members of Mr. Smith's congregation, one 
a carpenter, the other a bricklayer, had begun to rail in 
and to brick over the grave, he ordered even these humble 
memorials to be destroyed. The martyr's remains sleep in 
an unknown grave. 

' The Demerara Martyr, •\^^. \j^2-l,l. 


John Smith's death, even if not entirely caused by, was 
thus greatly accelerated by the conduct of officials who 
hated missionaries, and who objected in the strongest 
possible degree to their slaves being either taught to read 
or instructed in the Gospel. These men had the instinct 
of tyrants and oppressors in every age, viz. that if they did 
not root out the Gospel, the Gospel would root out them. 
And since they dared not proclaim hostility to the Gospel 
as the real motive of their actions they trumped up false 
accusations against a man they believed too weak to defend 
himself, and when their hearts failed them in the exercise 
of open violence they availed themselves of their victim's 
physical weakness to bring about the end desired. Among 
the far too numerous atrocious episodes in our colonial 
administration, both in South Africa and in the West Indies, 
the judicial murder of John Smith possesses a bad pre- 

While these events were happening in the colony the 
Directors and the friends of emancipation at home were in 
great difficulty. For a time the letters of their agents were 
stopped. The newspapers which reached England were 
full of unmeasured abuse of Smith, of Christian missions in 
general, and of the London Missionary Society in par- 
ticular. Earl Bathurst, then Colonial Secretary, at the 
request of the Directors sent out instructions for Mr. Smith 
to be sent at once to England. These arrived February 9, 
1834, three days after Mr. Smith's death. The dispatch 
also contained the recall of the governor, upon whom the 
heavy responsibility for all the bloodshed and outrage 
which had taken place really rested. Fierce was the 
indignation in the colony. Governor Murray's supporters 
gave him as a parting remembrance plate to the value of 
twelve hundred guineas. They also petitioned the Court of 
Policy to expel all missionaries from the colony. Fiercer 
still was the storm which began to rage at home as the 
true story of what had happened gradually became known. 
The Directors were for some time without any reliable 
information upon which to base a judgment. The British 

II. A a 


Government, having considered the report which Governor 
Murray sent home, were pleased on March 30 to remit the 
sentence of death, but they directed that Mr. Smith be 
dismissed the colony and not allowed to reside in either 
the West Indies or the Bahamas. But weeks before this 
decision was reached Mr. Smith had gone to the tribunal 
where the judgment is final and unerring. 

The many enemies of the anti-slavery movement at once 
pointed to Demerara as a vindication of their views on 
the dangers of emancipation. The Government were so 
influenced by their supporters that they even determined to 
throw over their Resolutions of 1823. Buxton, however, 
stood firm, and on April 24, 1824, a petition for the revision 
of the court-martial upon Mr. Smith, and the repeal of his 
outrageous and unrighteous sentence, was presented in the 
House of Commons. Meetings were held all over England, 
and 200 petitions were presented to Parliament in eleven 
days. On June i, 1824, a great debate upon Mr. Smith's 
trial was opened in the House of Commons by Mr. 
Brougham, who moved : — 

• That a humble address be presented to His Majesty, 
representing that this House having taken into its most 
serious consideration the papers laid before them, relating 
to the trial and condemnation of the late Rev. John Smith, 
a missionary in the Colony of Demerara, deem it their duty 
now to declare, that they contemplate with serious alarm, 
and deep sorrow, the violation of law and justice which is 
manifested in these unexampled proceedings, and most 
earnestly praying that His Majesty will be graciously 
pleased to adopt such measures as in His Royal wisdom 
may seem meet, for such a just and humane administration 
of law in that Colony, as may protect the voluntary 
instructors of the negroes, as well as the rest of His 
Majesty's subjects, from oppression.' 

The debate was prolonged into a second night. Wilber- 
force in an impassioned speech, the last he ever uttered in 
that assembly in which for so many years he had been 
a potent influence for good, pleaded for the reversal of 


gross injustice. Sir James Mackintosh, Dr. Lushington, 
and others spoke powerfully on the same side. The 
Government, who were largely under the influence of the 
slav^e-owners, were disposed at first to meet the motion by 
a direct negative. But feeling both inside and outside the 
House was so strong that on the second night of the debate 
Canning moved the previous question. This was ultimately 
carried by only 193 to 146 votes. Thus the stigma was 
allowed to remain upon the dead missionary, but the 
debate killed slavery in the British dominions. Ten years 
later there came across the sea to all the negroes in 
Demerara the glad tidings that they were free men. 

Wisely or unwisely the Directors resolved to leave the 
matter where it stood, and to this day the sentence passed 
by an unrighteous and illegal court-martial still stands 
recorded against an innocent man. But on June 14, 1824, 
the Directors passed the following resolution : — 

' Resolved, That the cordial and most grateful thanks of 
the Directors be presented to Henry Brougham, Esq., for 
his unsolicited, energetic, and most eloquent defence in the 
Honourable the House of Commons, of the late Rev. John 
Smith ; by which he has so clearly and powerfully dis- 
played before the world, the unsullied innocence and unjust 
condemnation of that much-injured missionary.' 

Similar resolutions were passed in acknowledgement of 
the services of Sir James Mackintosh, Dr. Lushington, and 
others, and also to the Ministry of the House of Commons. 

The state of feeling in Demerara in 1824 is illustrated 
by the following resolution, passed in February at a great 
public meeting in George Town, held under the sanction of 
Governor Murray : — 

'We, therefore, deem it our sacred and bounden duty to 
ourselves and our dependants, to oppose and resist, by 
every authorized means, the establishment in this Colony, 
of sectaries of any description, and more particularly 
those of the London Missionary Society. It is^ therefore, 
resolved, that the Court of Policy be forthwith petitioned 
to expel all missionaries from the Colony ; and that a law 

A a 2 


be passed, prohibiting the admission of any nnissionary 
preachers into this Colony, for the future.' 

Only four at the meeting had either the courage or the 
good sense to oppose this monstrous proposition. The 
Colonist, a leading newspaper, in its issue for February i8, 
said : ' It is a question whether Christianity was ever meant 
to be the religion of men in a savage or slave state.' The 
public meeting, referred to above, passed in all twenty-five 
resolutions, among them those which led to the pernicious 
policy of concurrent endowment — a policy of which it is 
hardly too much to say that it has been a positive 
hindrance to all spiritual religion wherever it has been 
carried out. The resolution ran : — 

' That keeping in view these necessary distinctions in 
the religious persuasions of the different members of the 
community, it is highly desirable that in every instance 
the majority of the proprietors in the respective districts, 
or in the artificial local divisions or parishes which may 
be formed, should select that form of worship of one or 
other of the national churches which they may prefer, and 
should use means to obtain a regularly ordained clergyman 
of that persuasion — the patronage remaining vested in the 
proprietors, subject always to the approbation and control 
of His Majesty's representative, and of the Colonial 

The proposal to expel and to exclude missionaries w'as, 
of course, never executed ; but the Court of Policy, with the 
sanction of the British Government, carried out the other 
recommendations. Two clergymen, Lugar and Nurse by 
name, arrived in the colony in April, 1824. The former 
took up the work from which Mr. Austin had been removed 
by the arbitrary action of Governor D'Urban, and the latter 
occupied Bethel Chapel, the building in which Wray and 
Smith had preached, which, though it was the property of 
the London Missionary Society, the Colonial Legislature 
unjustly seized and handed over to this clergyman. In 
this way originated the ecclesiastical system which has 
since obtained in the colony. In 1826 Demerara, 


Essequibo, and Berbice were appended to the diocese of 
Barbadoes. Demerara itself was divided into twelve 
parishes, seven being allotted to the Church of England, 
and five to the Church of Scotland. In 1842 the Colony 
of British Guiana was made an independent bishopric. 

Outwardly complete, and apparently fair in its practice 
of not confining State aid to one denomination, this system 
has been open, ever since its establishment, to most serious 
objection. Here is a testimony from a competent witness 
nearly twenty-five years after the inauguration of the 
system. He quotes first a contemporary view, and then 
expresses his own : — 

' The hatred of the planters to the Missionaries arises 
from the latter mingling more with the negroes, and taking 
a greater interest in their concerns than the stationary 
clergy. A minister who has acquired his quantum of 
Greek and Latin at college is appointed to a living in the 
West Indies ; he goes out there, preaches regularly on 
a Sunday, or "does duty," as he would at home. Unless 
he disregards being looked upon by the whites as being 
over-zealous and intermeddling, he will not go beyond this, 
though he may sometimes feel a temptation to do so. We 
repeat it, and we know the fact, that little good beyond 
what may arise from the fulfilment of the commonplace 
routine of duty in the parish church, is to be expected from 
four-fifths of the beneficed clergy in the West Indies. 

* The white inhabitants of the Colony, forming the higher 
classes of the community, have benefited but little from the 
State establishments of religion, with which nearly all of 
them are nominally connected. A very small proportion 
of Europeans pay even an outward regard to the decencies 
of religion by an attendance at public worship ; while in 
too many cases, they are addicted to the grosser forms of 

'With respect to the lower orders of the people — the great 
bulk of those who profess any regard to religion attend 
either the Missionary or the Wesleyan places of worship. 
Those who are connected with the State-supported churches 


are generally persons who are anxious to participate in the 
outward ordinances of religion, to which they ignorantly 
attach a superstitious value, and at the same time to avoid 
a strict pastoral supervision of their general deportment. 
They seek, and most of the State-paid clergy are ready 
enough to gratify their desire, to possess some o{ ihe fo7-ins 
of godliness, without wishing to experience its pozvej\ 

'The costly ecclesiastical systems established by the 
Legislature did not, however, effect the desired deliverance 
of the Colonists from the odious presence of " sectarian or 
Missionary preachers " ; in the midst of all the opposition 
they have had to encounter, their history affords a striking 
illustration of the inspired record, — " He that hath clean 
hands shall wax stronger and stronger." With regard also 
to the other main object, the perpetuation of slavery, for 
which the four or five State churches were set up and 
sustained at the expense of the tax-payers — in this too they 
have signally failed. The cruel and murderous persecution 
of the Missionary Smith excited a thorough detestation of 
this abominable system in the British nation. The reckless 
burning of the Baptist Mission chapels by the planters of 
Jamaica, nine years after, increased this feeling, and a 
determination was formed to abolish, at any cost, the 
accursed system, that thus warred both with the cause of 
God and the liberties of man. One of the earliest fruits, 
therefore, of a reformed House of Commons, in which the 
popular voice could be heard, was a bill for emancipating, 
on August I, 1834, all held as slaves in the British West 
Indian Colonies. 

' Since the abolition of slavery, the State-paid clergy 
have allowed every kind of injustice perpetrated upon the 
emancipated people of British Guiana, to pass unchallenged. 
Against stringently coercive lav/s, designed to restore a 
modified slavery — against immigration ordinances, as un- 
just to the native labourers as they are cruel to the immi- 
grants themselves — against burdensome and vexatious 
imposts — against legislative colonial arrangements, that 
enable a few to monopolize all political power, — no word 


of remonstrance or complaint has ever escaped from one 
minister of the compulsory churches. They have habitually 
sided with the oppressor — against the oppressed ; and what 
the late Dr. Arnold wrote of the Church of England, may 
be truly said of the State church, or rather of the State 
churches of British Guiana : " These churches bear, and 
have ever borne, the marks of their birth ; the children of 
slaveholding and plantocratic selfishness, and unprincipled 
tyranny, they have never dared to speak to the great, but 
have contented themselves with lecturing the poor ^." ' 

[Authorities. — Letters and Official Reports ; Report of the Proceedings 
agai7ist the late Rev. y. Smith of Defnerara, tuho zvas tried under Martial 
Law, &^c., London, 1824 ; The Bemerara Martyr: Memoirs of the Rev. John 
Smith, by E. A. Wallbridge, London, 1848; and The Life and Labours of 
John Wray?\ 

' The Demerara Martyr, pp. 182-185. 



While the exciting events described in the last chapter 
were taking place, Wray continued his work in Berbice, 
but with many hindrances, and much opposition : Elliott's 
chapel on the west coast had been seized and handed over 
to the Church of England, and he himself compelled to 
leave the colony. In 1827 Davies died. It seemed for 
a time as though the enemies of the Society had triumphed. 
But in December, 1828, Joseph Ketley reached Demerara 
to recommence the work at Providence Chapel, George 
Town. With Wray's co-operation he induced the governor 
to grant him possession again of Elliott's chapel on the 
west coast in 1829, and Michael Lewis worked there until 
1832, when he died, and was succeeded by James Scott. 
In 1833 James Mirams took charge of Lonsdale, in Berbice, 
and laboured there until 1836, when he returned to 
England. The church at Providence Chapel, George Town, 
flourished under Ketley's care. Vigorous outstations, 
attended mainly by Indians, were maintained at Fort 
Island and Caria-Caria on the Essequibo River. Provi- 
dence New Chapel, built by Ketley, was at that time the 
largest in the colony, and in 1838 became wholly self- 

In 1 83 1 Berbice, which had up to that date been an 
independent colony, was united to Demerara and Esse- 
quibo. Wray exerted himself to meet the heavy require- 


ments imposed upon the Christian workers in Berbice 
by emancipation. Orange Chapel was opened ; Hanover 
Chapel enlarged ; and a large new chapel built at Waterloo 
by the negroes. In the year 1^35 Berbice had, in con- 
nection with the Society, six stations, 604 members, and 
6,000 under instruction. The desire for education by the 
newly emancipated slaves was very great, and it was largely 
stimulated by an offer of the Bible Society to present every 
emancipated slave who, on August i, 1835, could read, 
with a copy of the New Testament and the Psalms. For 
this purpose no less than 3,000 copies were forwarded to 
Wray. who took a very deep interest in this good work. 

The winter of 1835-36 was very bad, heavy rains and 
severe floods rendering work difficult and unhealthy. In 
April, 1836, the new church at Waterloo was opened by 
Wray, his son-in-law, Mr. Howe, and Mr. and Mrs. Forward, 
newly arrived in the colony, being present also. The 
veteran was reaching the end of his labours. Active and 
vigorous to the last, cheered by many tokens of prosperity, 
he yet experienced very heavy sorrows. In August, 1836, his 
son Robert died from a sunstroke. Many of his old friends 
and helpers were stricken down. But he worked on 
bravely to the last. One of the first actions of his career 
had been to secure liberty for slaves to attend the worship 
of God ; one of the last was to do all in his power to destroy 
the highly objectionable system of apprenticeship with 
which emancipation had been saddled. This system gave 
the planters power, under certain conditions, to compel the 
negroes to work. This power many of them promptly abused. 
Few officials took the needful trouble to explain to the 
slaves exactly what the law required of them. The result 
was oppression on the one hand, suspicion and resistance 
on the other. In 1836 a strong deputation visited the 
colony to look into the working of the system on the spot. 
It consisted of Joseph Sturge, Thomas Harvey, Mr. Lloyd, 
and John Scoble. Their investigations, aided by Wray 
and other missionaries, were issued towards the end of 1837 
in book form in England; and in May, 1838, Sir Eardley 


Wilmot carried in the House of Commons a motion to 
abolish apprenticeship. This came into force on August i, 
1838, and emancipation was as complete as legislation 
could make it. But before this final victory was won 
Wray had passed to his rest. On June 6, 1837, Howe died 
in Wray's home. He had reached New Amsterdam in 
1833, and had laboured with great efficiency for nearly four 
years at Hanover Chapel. Wray's daughter, Mrs. Howe, 
writing of this time, says : — 

' My father, just at the time my husband died, was 
better, that is, the fever had left him ; but it soon returned 
with increased violence, and delirium came on. He fancied 
himself in his beloved pulpit preaching, and preach he did, 
and prayed for God's blessing to rest on the mission ; then, 
mistaking the missionaries for the gentlemen of the Anti- 
Slavery Association, he addressed them on the slavery 
question, earnestly entreating them to use all their influence 
to bring about complete emancipation. This state of things 
continued for some hours, after which he fell into a sort of 
stupor, and all was quiet for a time. Mother had but just 
left the room, when he opened his eyes, looked round at 
Elizabeth and myself, who stood by his side fanning him, 
said, " Where is mother ? " and immediately, with a last 
effort, he raised himself, threw his arms round us both, 
and said, " My dear children, my work is done ; I am 
going home." He fell back, and before mother got into 
the room he was gone ; and the mission had lost its 
true and faithful servant.' 

The tablet erected to his memory, with more accuracy 
than such memorials sometimes exhibit, sums up a noble 
career : — 

' Sacred to the memory of Rev. John Wray, the first 
Christian missionary to British Guiana, whose unostenta- 
tious but firm and constant friendship for the afflicted 
and the oppressed, whose steady promotion of education, 
and faithful and affectionate preaching and teaching the 
Gospel of Christ, which he exemplified by a holy, active, 
and blameless life, during a period of thirty eventful years, 

WEST INDIAN STAFF. 1S34-1843 363 

secured for him the esteem and confidence of all classes of 
society, and the grateful love of the people of his peculiar 
care ; and by the Divine goodness rendered him the 
honoured instrument of enabling many to look from 
amidst the toils and sufferings of the present state, to 
the glories and blessedness of immortality.' 

On August ^, 1834, the Act of Emancipation came into 
force in the colony. It had been foreseen that this great 
measure of justice would place an enormous strain upon 
the resources of the Society, and add greatly to the 
labours of the scanty workers in so great a field. The 
home churches rose to the occasion, contributing large 
sums of money in addition to the funds requisite for 
the ordinary work of the mission, and also additional 

During the eight years 1834 to 1842 there were also sent 
out to British Guiana the Revs. S. Haywood, John Ross, 
C. D. Watt, C. Rattray, R. B. Taylor, D. Kenyon, 
G. Forward, S. S. Murkland, J. Morris, T. Henderson, 
H. S. Seabden, J. Edwards, J. Roome, J. Waddington, 
E. Davies, J. Giles, G. Pettigrew, E. A. Wallbridge, 
J. Dalgleish, and J. L. Parker — twenty in all. The climate, 
always trying to Europeans, greatly affected the health of 
many of these workers ; combined with this, the strain 
of the work and the excitement of a great epoch revealed 
weak points in the luora/e of others. The result was that 
only a few out of the twenty were able to maintain any 
long term of residence and useful service in the colony. 

For a few years the work went ahead with great vigour 
and with undoubted signs of manifold success. Multitudes 
of the freed slaves gladly heard the Gospel. After making 
full allowance for the instability of the negro character, 
only just delivered from a degrading servitude, in large 
numbers of cases the message of salvation was accepted 
to the saving of the soul and to the transformation of life. 
From the date of emancipation, however, two very serious 
drawbacks exerted a baneful influence. One was the intro- 
duction of a large number of coolies into the colony, who 

364 DEM ERA RA AND BERBICE : 1825-1866 

brought with them all the superstition, the heathenism, and 
the immorality of the most degraded stratum of Oriental 
peoples. The other was the almost total failure of all 
attempts to raise up a native ministry. 

In June, 1H34, the Rev. C. D. Watt resumed the work 
which had been stopped by the arrest and trial of Mr. 
Smith. At Montrose, an estate in the neighbourhood of 
Le Resouvenir, a piece of land was given to him by one 
of the planters who had taken an active part in the arrest 
of Smith, and the very building in which Smith had minis- 
tered was removed to and re-erected for Christian worship 
at Montrose. In August, 1834, the Rev. Charles Rattray 
began work at Canal No. i. In 1837 the chapel at Lust- 
en-Rust was erected, and in 1H44 Salem Chapel was built 
in another part of the same district. Mr. Rattray laboured 
successfully in this district for many years. The Rev. 
Thomas Henderson in 1839 took charge of the station 
at Leguan Island, and in 1840 removed to Lusignan. In 
1843 the Rev. E. A. Wallbridge built, as a memorial to 
the martyred missionary, Smith Chapel, in what was then a 
suburb of George Town, very near the spot where the jail 
stood in which he died. The building is now in the heart 
of the city. It was opened for worship in August, 1844. 

The extending work naturally fell into two main depart- 
ments — evangelization and education. It is hardly too 
much to say that education was almost as urgent and as 
important as evangelization. The labours of the preceding 
twenty-seven years had not been thrown away. Chapels 
had been built, churches of living members, energized by 
the Spirit of God, organized, Sunday schools and day 
schools built and started on their beneficent way, many 
negroes converted into warm-hearted Christians, and many, 
both old and young, taught to read. Emancipation called 
for no new departure in work ; it demanded rather the 
consolidation and extension of work already well begun. 
In the large number of new workers sent out the require- 
ments of the preacher and of the teacher were both borne 
in mind. 


The need for greater energy in the work of evangeh'zation 
was recognized by the many additions to the staff Men Hke 
C. Rattray, C. D. Watt, E. A. Wallbridge, S. S. Murkland, 
and J. Dalgleish did much most vakiable service in strength- 
ening the old churches and in originating new ones. In this 
they were greatly aided by the willingness on the part of the 
negroes, at least during 1H34 to 1844, to contribute freely 
of their substance for the maintenance and the extension of 
the Christian churches. Mr. Freeman, after his visit to the 
West Indies in ICS42, computed that the negroes in British 
Guiana and Jamaica, in connection with the various mis- 
sionary societies, had contributed at least a quarter of a 
milHoft sterling to the maintenance and extension of 
Christian work. Freely they had received, freely they gave. 

There were many difficulties in the way. It was, of 
course, hopeless to expect that thousands of slaves could be 
uplifted in a decade to a much higher social, moral, and 
spiritual level, even by such a mighty lever as emancipa- 
tion obtained by the efforts of Christian men. Sanguine 
expectations on the one side were disappointed. Bitter 
hatred and hostility on the other often pointed the finger 
of scorn at defects in the moral and religious state of the 
recent slave that might have been more justly and usefully 
directed against the low morality and spirituality of the 
recent master. 

Then there were the usual hindrances, seemingly in- 
separable from times of great excitement in religious work. 
For the first twenty-five years the conditions in Guiana 
were such that each worker was a law unto himself, and 
practically had to be such, the control from the home 
authorities being much more nominal than real. With the 
larger staff and the increased expenditure the Directors 
naturally sought to strengthen their hold upon the admin- 
istration of the mission. And they sought to do this in 
the way which during the century has more and more 
commended itself to the men responsible for the conduct 
of our great missionary societies. On April 12, 1836, the 
Western Committee of the Board resolved : '(i) That the 

366 DEM ERA RA AND BERBICE : 1825-1866 

brethren in Demerara be requested to form themselves into 
a District Committee, on the principle, and subject to the 
provisions, of the regulations adopted for the constitution 
and government of the same. (2) That the Revs. Ketley, 
Scott, Watt, Rattray, and Taylor be appointed members of 
the Demerara District Committee.' 

The Directors believed then, as they believe now, that in 
the conduct of a mission there is safety in combined rather 
than individual action. In few departments has individuality 
of action resulted in more costly and not unfrequently 
disastrous experiment than in foreign missions. The early 
pioneer missionaries, like Wray, Moffat, and others, did 
not willingly fall in with the new system. Here and there 
an exceptional spirit, like Livingstone, refused to submit. 
But in the long run the system has worked well, and ought 
to work still better as the years pass and as the scope and 
importance of the work grows. 

In Demerara there was a little difficulty at the start. 
The younger members of the mission were quite ready 
to guide Ketley ; but the veteran was not quite so willing 
to be guided. For eight years he had successfully con- 
ducted Providence Chapel, George Town. The congregation 
was large and almost self-supporting. A rupture between 
Ketley and the District Committee finally took place on 
the issue that Providence Chapel was a Congregational 
Church, and that neither Committee nor Directors had any 
authority to interfere in its administration, or in that of the 
stations connected with it. This action initiated a corre- 
spondence extending over several years. The church had 
had a varied history. The ground on which it stood was 
given to Mr. Davies, the first missionary in George Town, 
by a Mr. Vincent. The colonists gave ;^7oo towards the 
erection of the building in 1812, and the Directors ;^3CO. 
The land had been conveyed to Davies in his own name — 
a practice common in this and other fields at that early 
stage. After the death of Davies the widow refused to 
convey the land and building to the Society, without what 
she considered just compensation, and finally the Directors 


paid her i^ 1,000 to induce her to execute the necessary 
legal documents. About 1830 the chapel was rebuilt by 
Ketley at a cost of ^^"3,000, of which the Directors supplied 
only ^^"400, a sum which the Church considered a loan. 
The Directors at length agreed that if the Church would 
repurchase the land and church at a fair valuation, they 
would relinquish all claim upon it. In 1838 the Church 
repaid the loan of ;^400, but they refused to admit any 
responsibility to buy back the land and church. Finally 
it was put in trust, six of the trustees being resident in 
Great Britain and six in the colony, and clauses were 
inserted to secure as far as possible that it should always 
be secured for Congregational worship and polity. Ketley 
ceased as early as t 836 to be associated in any way other 
than friendly co-operation with either the District Com- 
mittee or the Society. 

The personal factor proved as important and as difficult 
sometimes to control in Demerara as in Tahiti or South 
Africa. Some of the men sent out as teachers persisted 
in demanding ordination to the ministry, some of those in 
charge of churches proved unequal to the strain, but on the 
whole good and abiding work was done for the five and 
twenty years following emancipation. 

The work of education, important in all fields, but doubly 
so in the West Indies in 1834, received very constant 
attention from both Directors and missionaries. On July 
25> 1835, the Western Committee recommended to the 
Board ' that twenty men be engaged as schoolmasters and 
catechists for the instruction of the newly enfranchised 
population of the British colonies,' and coupled with this 
the recommendation that their wives also, if possible, 
should be duly qualified teachers. Resolutions passed on 
October 1 2, 1 835. decided that all sent out should possess the 
full certificate of the British and Foreign School Society ; 
the salary if the wife were fully qualified ^^150 per annum, 
if she were not, £120; and on November 2, ' that the school- 
masters be instructed to give their first and best attention 
to the particular department of labour for which they are 

368 DEM ERA R A AND BERBICE : 1825-1866 

specially engaged — that of teaching,' and ' that they be 
instructed to place themselves under the direction of the 
Society's missionary at the station to which they may be 
attached, and to be guided by him in regard to the sphere 
of their labours, and the nature of the services in which 
they are to engage.' The salaries of the teachers were to 
be paid through the resident missionary. 

The last two regulations were intended to prevent two 
great practical difficulties. The teachers were expected 
to be Christian men, willing and able also to co-operate 
in evangelistic work, so far as this was consistent with their 
first and all-important duty — teaching. Unfortunately 
not a few of them persisted in using the teacher's office 
merely as a stepping-stone to an appointment as full 
missionary. The Directors by placing the teachers under 
the control and guidance of the missionaries hoped to 
minimize the other great practical difficulty — a restlessness 
and disinclination to control, often exhibited by the 
teachers after a few months' experience of colonial life. 

This great development of educational work was due 
partly to the recognition of its supreme importance at the 
time. But it was also greatly stimulated by the action of 
the Government. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
Lord Glenelg, and the Government of the day were most 
anxious to do all that could be wisely done by legislative 
action in co-operating with the great missionary societies 
in ameliorating the conditions of the native races subject 
to Great Britain. Earl Grey's Ministry had voted a sum 
of i^20,coo ' in aid of voluntary contributions towards the 
erection of school-houses in the colonies and settlements 
in which slavery has been abolished.' Lord Glenelg pro- 
posed ' in the distribution of this sum to avail himself, so 
far as practicable, of the agency of the several religious 
societies at present engaged in promoting education among 
the negroes,' and to afford 'pecuniary assistance towards 
the erection of such school-houses for negro education as 
they may consider to be required during the present year ' 
(1835-36). It was obvious that such action on the part 


of the Government could not pass without comment, and 
that some friends might doubt the wisdom of a rehgious 
society in accepting even this amount and form of aid. 
A deputation waited upon Sir George Grey, and after 
consultation with him they issued an appeal to the friends of 
the Society in the Evangelical Magazine for January, 1H36. 
In this they point out that — 

' The aid is to be furnished on the same principle as that 
on which assistance is granted towards the erection of 
schools in connection with the British and Foreign School 
Society in this country, viz. the Government advance a sum 
towards the estimated cost of the building, the remainder 
to be supplied by the parties by whom it is erected. 
Considering the specific object contemplated in the above 
communication, viz. the bnilding of sc/iool-houses, the 
number of these amounting to between thirty and forty, 
which the missionaries have stated to be now required, it 
has appeared to the Directors as a matter of the utmost 
importance to the negroes that the means of their education 
should be increased without delay. Considering, further, 
that the Society has already a missionary apparatus in 
operation, which will be rendered far more efficient by the 
proposed addition to the schools ; that the schools are to 
" be conducted on the principles and plan sanctioned by the 
rules and constitution of the Society," — the Directors have 
felt it their duty, gratefully to avail themselves of the aid 
proposed to be rendered, in erecting the school-houses now 
required, by their missionaries in the British colonies. The 
tenure by which the buildings will be held ; the entire 
control over the schools which the Society will possess; 
and their exemption from all interference in regard to the 
principles and details of their operation, as contained in the 
subjoined statement of His Majesty's Under-Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, obligingly furnished in reply to the 
inquiries of the Directors on the above points, will, they 
are persuaded, be very generally satisfactory to the friends 
of the Society : — 

' ' I. In the case of school-houses, the property of either of 
II. B b 

370 DEMERARA AND BERBICE : 1825-1860 

the societies to which that circular (viz. letter of September lo, 
1835) was addressed, the permanent character of the 
Society affords the best security for the continued 
appropriation of the building to the purposes of negro 
education. It is not, therefore, the intention of Govern- 
ment, in such cases, to acquire any right or proprietorship 
in the school-houses, towards the erection of which aid may 
be afforded, but they will be considered as belonging to the 
Society, to be held by the same tenure as its other buildings. 

' " 2. That the appointment of masters and mistresses 
will rest exclusively with the Society; the schoolmasters to 
stand in the same relation thereunto as missionaries or 
catechists, and to be under the sole direction and control 
of the Society. 

' " 3. The object of the inspection of the schools, towards 
the erection of which the aid of Government may have 
been received, will be to enable His Majesty's Government 
to ascertain such particulars respecting the number and 
attendance of the scholars, the time during which the 
school is open for instruction, and the superintendence 
under which it is placed, as will satisfy them that the 
money advanced has been actually applied according to 
the intentions of Parliament. The Inspector will not 
exercise any control over the religious instruction given in 
the schools, for the character of which the principles of the 
Society will be a sufficient guarantee ; but he will be 
required to report, generally, the different branches of 
education in which the scholars are instructed." 

'The proportion furnished by His Majesty's Government 
is liberal, being two-thirds of the estimated cost of the 
buildings. It will be paid in this country, or to the 
missionaries in the colonies. But besides this, and the aid 
expected in the colonies, further assistance will be required ; 
and for this the Directors respectfully apply to the friends 
of Scriptural education, through the medium of the 
Missionary Chronicled 

This appeal is preceded by a statement enforcing the 
urgency of the need. 

SCHOOLS IN 1836 371 

* It Is estimated that there were in the British colonies 
on i^ugust I, 1834, not fewer than 130,000 negro children, 
under six years of age, and therefore legally exempt from 
all impediments to attending at the schools. The circum- 
stances of these children— the future peasantry of the 
colonies — whose character and habits will so greatly 
depend on their being either educated in the principles 
and duties of Christianity, or left to grow up in ignorance 
and vice, point out the importance of immediate and 
vigorous efforts to enable them to read for themselves the 
Holy Scriptures, — the best and only sure foundation of 
social order, industry, and happiness. Besides the free 
children, those above seven years of age, with almost the 
entire amount of the enfranchised adult population, need, 
and many of them would gladly receive, instruction, if the 
means of obtaining it were supplied. 

' It affords the Directors much pleasure to state that 
the proprietors and managers of estates, and others in the 
colonies in which their missionaries are stationed, have in 
an increasing number of instances shown a truly commend- 
able readiness to favour the introduction of religious 
instruction among the people : they have also rendered 
valuable aid towards the erection of the buildings which 
the enlarged operations of the Society have rendered 
necessary ; and there is reason to expect that, as the 
benefits of education become increasingly apparent, greater 
assistance will be given by persons residing on the spot. 
But in addition to the means of religious instruction now 
provided, the missionaries have stated that they arc in 
great need of an increased number of agents, especially 
schoolmasters and mistresses : and, exclusive of those 
required in Mauritius and the Cape of Good Hope, they 
have applied to the Society for means to erect between 
thirty and forty school-houses, the estimated cost of which 
amounts to between nine and ten thousand pounds. 

' Large as this amount is, and m.uch as the additional 
schoolmasters and mistresses required will augment the 
number of labourers engaged by the Society; yet, taking 

B b 3 


into consideration the present peculiar state of the negroes, 
the impracticabihty of their rising above the debasing 
ignorance and vice attendant upon slavery, without educa- 
tion ; and the degree in which this will promote their 
acquaintance with the sacred Scriptures,— it has appeared 
to the Directors of the highest importance to increase the 
operations of the Society in this particular department to 
the utmost practicable extent. 

' Besides the consideration of the peculiar circumstances 
of the apprentices, the encouraging prospect of assistance 
in the colonies, from the Government, and the friends of 
education at home, the Directors were also influenced, in 
the arrangements they have made, by a regard to the 
gratitude so uniformly shown by the negroes for the 
benefits of religious instruction ; and the very liberal 
manner in which they have, to the utmost limit of their 
ability, contributed of their earnings, towards defraying the 
expenses incurred on their behalf. The means of religious 
instruction for the negroes and their children never were 
more needed than at the present time. The cost of provid- 
ing them the Directors are convinced they cannot possibly 
meet ; but they cherish a firm assurance, strengthened by 
experience of the past liberality of the negroes, that, as 
soon as they are able, they will not only cheerfully bear 
to their utmost ability the expense of any efforts made for 
their benefit, but contribute generously towards sending 
the Gospel to others.' 

A feature of special interest to the readers of this old 
record is that the Government correspondence with the 
Society on this subject was carried on through one of the 
under-secretaries, then little known, but in later years to 
become famous throughout the civilized world. The 
minutes of a special Western Committee held March 26, 
1 835, run : — 

' I. Read a letter from W. E. Gladstone, Esq., M.P., one 
of the Under-Secretaries of State, Colonial Office,, 25th 
March, requesting that the replies furnished by the agents 
of this Society to the queries forwarded from the said office 


in November last might be transmitted to His Majesty's 
Government previous to loth inst. 

' 2. Read also letter from the Rev. Dr. Raffles, Liverpool, 
15th Jan., 1^35, requesting some information as to the inten- 
tions of this Society, in accepting proposals of assistance 
from His Majesty's Government.' 

The Committee, having devoted their best attention to 
the preceding documents, resolved ; — 

' 1. That an answer to the letter of the Under-Secretary 
of State be prepared, embodying the copies of replies to 
the list of questions received from the missionaries, with such 
other information as may be requisite to convey a full and 
correct account of the extent of the Society's operations in 
Demerara, Berbice, and Jamaica ; and of the relation which 
these operations bear to the entire population of the respec- 
tive localities. 

' 3. That the Society is prepared to extend its operations 
in the British Colonies so far as a just regard to the claims 
of other parts of the world, and the extent of its means, 
may permit. 

•3. That in the judgment of this Committee it would 
be consistent with the principles of this Society to accept 
a portion of any grant made by Parliament for promoting 
Christian education, on liberal and comprehensive principles, 
in the British Colonies.' 

Further correspondence on this subject led to the develop- 
ment of educational work, and the appeal to all friends of 
the Society on behalf of the West Indies. 

A detailed description of the work at all the different 
stations in the West Indies during the thirty years, 1835 to 
1865, would only confuse and weary the reader. The broad 
features were a great extension of both evangelistic and 
educational work for ten years. A very sanguine expecta- 
tion of steady and great progress was cherished. This was 
doomed to disappointment. The negroes, as they became 
used to freedom and self-control, lost much of their first 
ardour. The failure to establish a reliable and vigorous 
native ministry had considerable influence. The conditions 

374 DEMERARA AND BERBICE : 1825-1866 

of life in the colony, the low moral tone of much of the 
white population, the system of concurrent endowment, the 
enervating climate have all been against steady and per- 
manent progress. Yet the friends of missions have no 
need to be ashamed of the part they have taken. If they 
have not been able to achieve all they desired, they have 
been very powerful factors in the spiritual progress developed 
and in the moral and religious uplifting of the negroes. 

The work in Berbice during the thirty years was prac- 
tically identical with that accomplished in Demerara. 
Evangelistic and educational work was steadily carried 
forward at several centres, of which the following were the 
most important : — 

1. New Amsterdam. Here, after Mr. Wray's death in 
5 83^-, the Rev. H. Seaborn was stationed, and was succeeded 
in 1840 by the Rev. E. Davies. He, in turn, in 1849 was 
followed by the Rev. J. Dalgleish, who remained in charge 
of the station until January, i860, when his place was taken 
by the Rev. Robert Ricards, who, through failure of health, 
returned to England in 1866. 

2. Lonsdale. This station was situated seven miles 
up the Berbice River, on the estate of Mr. W. Henry, who 
even in 1832 had granted Mr. Wray a site for the church 
and mission house. Here, from 1S33 to 1836, the Rev. 
J. Mirams laboured until ill health compelled his retire- 
ment. From 1836 to 1840 the Rev. Giles Forward, when 
his health also failed. From 1842 to 1849 the Rev. John 
Dalgleish carried on the work, when he returned to New 
Amsterdam, still superintending the station at Lonsdale. 
In 1853 the Rev. G. Foreman took charge, but removed 
to Rodborough in 1856, and in ] 860 Mr. Dalgleish returned 
again to his former station, 

3. Brunswick. This station, thirty miles up the Ber- 
bice River, begun by Mr. Wray in j 834, was for the most 
part worked by native agents. The Rev. R. Thompson 
was there for a year or two, 1 841 to 1843, and Mr. M'^Kellar 
1843 to 1845, when the latter died there in 1845. P'rom 
1833 to i>'^57 Mr. H. B. Ingram was in charge. 

THE MISSION IN i860 375 

4. Other stations in Berbice worked by the Society 
from 1834 to 1H36, were Fearn and Light Town on the 
Berbice River ; Rodborough on the west coast ; Ithaca ; 
Orange Chapel, Sandvoort ; and Albion station. P'or some 
years also, an Indian station at Maria Henriette, 200 miles 
up the Berbice River, was worked with some measure 
of success. 

In i860 the chief statistics of the Berbice Mission were 
nine stations, 1^072 church members, 2,164 scholars, and 
a local income of about ;^4,ooo per annum. 



Although a mission to the great island of Jamaica was 
projected as early as 179H it was not carried into effect by 
the Society until 1834. This delay was partly due to the 
fact that the Wesleyans had already begun mission work 
there, and in other of the West Indian islands, and it was 
felt that the Society would do more good by breaking fresh 
ground. The Baptist Missionary Society also established 
a strong mission in Jamaica as early as 1814. But when 
the Act of Emancipation liberated 800,000 negroes, the con- 
viction that there was more work than could possibly be 
overtaken led the Directors to greatly strengthen their 
other West Indian missions, and to establish a new one in 
Jamaica. The considerations upon which this action was 
based are given in the Report for i CS35 : — 

' The Directors very fully participate in the grateful jo)' 
with which the British public, especially the friends of 
missions, have received tidings of the circumstances under 
which the change from absolute slavery to comparative 
freedom was effected in the British Colonies. The accounts 
of the manner in which the memorable ist of August, 1834, 
was observed at the missionary stations, were such as to 
call forth grateful thanksgiving to the Most High, and 
to inspire hopes that the people would improve the facilities 
which their altered circumstances afforded for receiving 
that instruction, which their best friends have ever regarded 


as equally essential to their own happiness and the prosperity 
of the colonies. These hopes have not been disappointed, 
and in many of the stations a desire for religious instruction, 
and a perseverance in its pursuit, have been manifested, 
which are truly encouraging. On the abolition of slavery, 
the Directors were deeply impressed with the conviction, 
which was shared by the nation at large, that in proportion 
as the means employed for the religious education of the 
negroes were adequate and efficient, or otherwise, the change 
itself would be a blessing to the Colonies, or the reverse. 
They felt, in common with the great body of the members 
of the Society, that it was their duty, in harmony with the 
movements of other portions of the Christian public, to 
increase their exertions in the British Colonies at the 
present, which may justly be regarded as a peculiar and 
important period in their history, 

' Under these convictions, besides reinforcing the Society's 
missions in Demerara and Berbice, the Directors were led 
to direct their attention to the important Island of Jamaica, 
whose population includes nearly one-half the entire number 
of emancipated negroes ; many of whom, especially in the 
interior of the island, are, notwithstanding the persevering 
efforts of the devoted missionaries of other societies, 
destitute of the means of Christian education and in- 
struction ^' 

Six missionaries were appointed to the work in Jamaica ; 
four, Messrs. Wooldridge, Barrett, Hodge, and Slatyer, in 
the southern portions, and two, Messrs. Vine and Alloway, 
in the northern. Mr. Barrett, who laboured successfully 
first in Jamaica and then in Demerara, was the father of 
Dr. Barrett of Norwich, and of the Rev. E. M. Barrett 
of Liverpool. A sketch of the mission, published in i86j, 
enables the reader to understand the character of the work, 
and how it was done : — 

' On their arrival these brethren experienced but little 
difficulty in finding localities with large populations entirely 
destitute of the means of grace ; greatly needing and 

' Report for 1S35, pp. 116-7. 


anxious to obtain instruction both for themselves and for 
their children. Mr. Wooldridge was for some time employed 
in visiting the sugar plantations in the neighbourhood of 
Kingston, and for several months preached in a chapel on 
Papine Estate, placed at his disposal by T. Wildman, Esq. ; 
but ultimately he fixed his residence in Kingston, where 
he purchased the premises occupied by the Society in 
that city. Mr. Hodge was stationed at Morant Bay, in 
St. Thomas in the East; Mr. Barrett at Four Paths, in 
Clarendon; Mr. Slatyer at Porus, in Manchester; Mr. Vine 
at Arcadia, in Trelawney ; and Mr. Alloway at Dry Harbour, 
in St. Ann's. From these centres they extended their 
spheres of labour, and formed out-stations, some of which 
soon became of sufficient importance to induce the Directors 
to send out additional missionaries to occupy them. Those 
of the brethren who were located in the agricultural districts 
found that, although the people were in many respects 
still treated as slaves, they enjoyed frequent opportunities 
of assembling to hear the Gospel, and also to learn to read, 
so that at once they entered upon their important and 
interesting labours. To be " instant in season and out of 
season " in prcacJiing the Gospel to the people, was felt 
by the missionaries to be their great work, and, next to 
that, to endeavour to teach as many of them as possible 
to read that Gospel for themselves. To this latter work 
all the members of the mission cheerfully and zealously 
devoted their energies. Infant schools, for the children 
under six years of age (all of whom had, a few months 
before, been made free by the Emancipation Act), were 
formed, and conducted by the wives of the missionaries 
at their various dwellings ; and there, too, many of the 
adults assembled, after their day of hard and unrequited 
toil in the field, or at the sugar works ; and thus not a few 
were taught to read that word which became " the power 
of God unto their salvation." Some of those who com- 
menced the acquisition of knowledge under such great 
difficulties grew weary, and gave up the pursuit ; but at 
every station there were many who, by their diligence and 


progress, encouraged their teachers to persevere in their 
labours, and who, before many years had passed, amply 
compensated them for all their toil, by becoming intelligent 
members of the mission churches, and, in some instances, 
efficient teachers in the schools. 

' It was not long before all the missionary brethren were 
privileged to witness some spiritual results which cheered 
them in their arduous work ; the word preached was with 
power, so that during the first five years of the mission, 
a Christian Church was formed at each of their stations. 
The beginnings were small ; they might have been larger, 
but the pastors were deeply convinced of the vast impor- 
tance of admitting none to Christian fellowship who did 
not give satisfactory evidence of being truly converted to 
God. And, as at the formation of the Churches, so also 
during subsequent years, when a profession of religion 
became so general, they firmly resisted the inducement 
to admit to their Communion those of whose Christian 
character they stood in doubt ; and it is probably to their 
fidelity in this respect that the present generally healthy 
and prosperous condition of their Churches is to be attri- 

'Soon after the mission churches had been formed, 
substantial and commodious chapels and school-rooms were 
built at the several stations, towards the erection of which 
the people contributed with commendable liberality. As 
illustrations, it may be stated that when the foundation 
stone of Whitefield Chapel, Porus, was laid, in 1842, the 
collection amounted to the sum of £4.0 sterling ; and when, 
in the following year, the spacious building was dedicated 
to the worship of God, the congregation, consisting almost 
entirely of persons belonging to the emancipated classes, 
testified their grateful joy by a contribution of more than 
double that amount. 

' The social condition of the people generally, and 
especially of those connected with the mission stations, 
as compared with what it was in 1H34 is such as to constrain 
any one from personal observation to compare the present 


with the past, and to exclaim, "What hath God wrought!" 
They were then Hving on the estates of their owners, but 
now the greater part reside on their own freeholds, purchased 
with the fruit of their industry, forming in many cases 
peaceful and prosperous villages, the principal building in 
which is generally a chapel or school-house. The mis- 
sionaries are encouraged in their work by the large numbers 
attending their ministry, the growing intelligence of the 
younger members of their Churches, and the increased 
attendance at many of their day schools. From the com- 
mencement of the mission the brethren have never failed 
to devote a considerable portion of their attention to the 
education of the young, and the day, as well as the Sabbath 
school, has always been regarded as an indispensable 
institution at each of their stations. These schools are 
entirely unsectarian in their character ; their chief support 
is derived from the school fees, and in no instance are they 
aided by Government grants or grants from the Society's 
funds. It is also an encouraging circumstance in connection 
with these schools, that they are all conducted b}^ native 
teachers, under the supervision of the missionaries. 

'In 1H55 the brethren, with the cordial concurrence and 
assistance of the Directors, formed a Training Institution 
at Ridgemount. Five young men were received, three of 
whom finished the course of study prescribed by the Com- 
mittee, and were engaged as assistant missionaries ; and 
the other two have found employment more suited to 
their talents as teachers. The following extract from the 
Report of the Institution, for 1^)59, expressed the views 
of the missionaries with regard to this branch of their 
labours : — " The studies of the young men have been 
prosecuted with diligence and success ; and although all 
that could have been desired has not been obtained, enough 
has been accomplished to excite the gratitude of the 
Committee, and to encourage them to proceed with their 
undertaking ^." ' 

In i860 the Society's work in Jamaica was carried on at 

' Chronicle, iS6i,p. 50. 

THE REVIVAL OF 1860 381 

sixteen stations, under the care of six European missionaries, 
three native pastors, eleven native catechists and school- 
masters, and three candidates for the ministry. There 
were 1.691 church members, 2,243 scholars in the Sunday 
schools, and 1,346 in the day schools, and the contributions 
locally raised towards the cost of the mission were £i,S77- 

In the closing months of i860 and the earlier part of 
1H61 a very remarkable revival of religion took place in 
the island. It followed the great religious revivals which 
had occurred in America and in Ireland. It was confined 
to no one district or mission, but most powerfully affected 
the whole island. Mr. Alloway, in a letter dated Nov. 5, 
i860, has given a deeply interesting sketch of this extra- 
ordinary spiritual movement : — 

'A few weeks since the attendance on the means of 
grace was large and regular ; but we had to mourn over 
the lukewarmness of many in the Church, the impenitence 
of numbers in the congregation, and the aboundings of 
iniquity around us. This conviction pressed so heavily on 
my mind, that I was led a few Sabbaths ago to preach 
from Psalm xxi. 8, "Thine hand shall find out all thine 
enemies : " and, on the following Sabbath, from Hab. iii. 2, 
" O Lord, revive Thy work." Having shown in what a 
revival consists, and that we greatly needed one, I urged 
the importance of special prayer for the desired blessing, 
and added that a large attendance at the prayer-meetings 
would be the best token we could have that it was near 
at hand. Great attention was manifested, but nothing 
particular occurred until the evening of the 22nd ult., 
when, at one of our district prayer-meetings, about seven 
miles from this place, and presided over by Mr. Bryan, one 
of the deacons, a youth suddenly fell down, and uttered 
a cry for mercy. Mr. Bryan was so alarmed that he at 
once closed the meeting, attended to the lad, and, as soon 
as he became a little composed, some friends led him home. 
The same evening many persons were affected in a similar 
manner, at a prayer-meeting held in the Moravian School- 
house in that vicinity, and among them .several of our own 


people. On the 24th ult., Mr. Bryan sent for me, stating 
that there was " a glorious revival " among the people, and 
that he hoped I would come down at once, "and see with 
my own eyes," and give the people the advice which they 
needed ; that, as for himself, he could do nothing but look, 
and wonder at the work which was going on. I w^as too 
glad to learn that there was at length a shaking among 
the dry bones, to delay a moment. On my way, the few 
persons whom I met showed by their serious demeanour 
that they too had heard the news. One woman said, as 
I met her, " We poor sinners are, for true, in a great 
degradation. It is time for the Lord to work." 

' I had occasionally seen crowds of these people, for whose 
good I have so long laboured, excited almost to madness 
by some "lying vanity,''' so that I wished to come as 
unprepared as possible upon the unwonted scene of a 
congregation of them weeping for their sins, and calling 
aloud for mercy. I was soon there, and found my deacon 
at his post ; but it was, as he had said, only that of obser- 
vation. The meeting was at the Moravian School-house at 
Broadleaf, and most of the people present were Moravians ; 
but there were many of ours there also. On entering the 
premises, I witnessed a scene which I shall never forget. 
A number of persons were walking about the chapel-yard, 
and, as soon as I entered, they came around me, to tell 
me, as they always do, " Morning, Minister — glad to see 
you " ; but they looked so strange, that at first I did not 
recognize some of our own people, although I had seen 
them, at the chapel here, only a few days before. They 
looked to me as if, during the brief interval, they had 
suffered from a severe attack of illness. I soon found 
that these were among the first " stricken," and had now 
realized peace in believing in Jesus. This feeling so 
entirely pervaded the minds of some of them, as to give to 
their countenances an expression which I cannot describe, 
and which I never saw, except on those of eminent 
Christians when on the threshold of heaven. I spoke to 
two or three, and was as much surprised by their conversa- 

THE REVIVAL OF i860 383 

tion as I had previously been at their appearance. Asa people 
(even those most advanced in the Divine life) they seldom 
converse freely on religious subjects ; but these seemed glad 
with the opportunity of telling " what great things God had 
done for them." Among them I observed an intelligent 
3'oung woman, a member of my own church, and asked 
her to give me a short account of what she had experienced. 
She immediately replied, " O minister, I never saw that sin 
was so sinful as I have within these few days. I thought 
I should have perished. I spent one whole night in prayer, 
was enabled to put all my trust in the Saviour, and 
then found peace — blessed peace." I replied, that if it 
were a good peace, it was the Saviour's gift ; that she must 
be thankful for it, and careful of it. She looked upwards, 
as if " to the hills from whence came her help," and as 
I looked upon her features, the index to her calm and 
happy mind. I could not but hope, and believe, that her 
experience was of that kind which can only be enjoyed 
by those who place their entire trust in Christ, and live 
in communion with Him. I then entered the school-room, 
where I found a great number of people, most of them 
engaged in praying and exhorting in a loud voice. No 
one presided over the meeting. At first it seemed to me 
as if they were all doing wrong ; but after I had gone 
about among them, I thought otherwise. They seemed 
quite unconscious of my presence, and no one was at all 
interrupted by the noise which his fellow worshipper or 
worker was making. Some were kneeling, weeping, and 
praying ; confessing their sins to God, naming them, even 
those that had been committed many years ago — their 
neglect of Divine ordinances, unbelief, hardness of heart, sins 
of commission, and their secret sins, as they were " set in 
order '"' before their minds by the Holy Spirit. This they 
did audibly; sometimes not only specifying and deploring 
their crimes, but also praying for their companions in guilt 
by name. A few were kneeling, looking upwards, their 
lips moving, but not uttering a word, as if, having received 
the answer to their prayers, they were engaged in rendering 


thanks to the God of their salvation. Others were diligently 
employed in directing and consoling the distressed, and in 
exhorting those who were as yet merely spectators. I saw 
sucli — some of them the vilest of men ; but I saw no 
mockers — not one. All my ideas as to the fitness of the 
instrumentality for such important and difficult work, were 
confounded by what I saw ; but as I went from one to 
another, and listened to their utterances, so Scriptural and 
appropriate, I remembered that " God hath chosen the 
foolish things of the world to confovmd the wise," &c. ; 
and the reason for His doing His work in this way must 
be, "that no flesh should glory in His presence." I saw 
some things which I could not approve, and felt sure 
they would injure the cause which they were intended to 
promote ; but to attempt at that moment to point them 
out to that multitude, seemed hopeless, so I said nothing, 
until the teacher asked me if I would deliver an address. 
I consented ; and as I went up to the desk, and selected 
a hymn, the voices gradually subsided, until all became 
perfectly quiet. We sang, '• There is a fountain," &c., 
and then I addressed them for about half an hour, 
endeavouring to lead them to Jesus, and also gave them 
such counsels and cautions as I deemed appropriate. 
Several thanked me for my kindness in visiting and 
speaking to them ; but I soon saw that they did not 
intend to leave the chapel. I now wondered how it would 
be possible for them to renew the exercises which the long 
pause and my address had allayed ; but in an incredibly 
short time they all resumed their engagements. I looked 
at my watch, and was surprised to find that I had been 
with them five hours. 

'On Monday morning I went dovvn to the six o'clock 
prayer-meeting at Royal Flat (four miles from here). We 
had a good meeting, after which I took down the names 
of all who wished it, and who were not previously either 
members or inquirers. I found that this composed their 
minds by making them feel that they were associated with 
those who would take an interest in their spiritual welfare. 


I went on to Davyton, and held a similar service ; and 
during subsequent days visited each district where the 
revival had appeared among our people, and at every place 
some came forward and begged to be received into the 
classes. The total number of those which I have thus 
enrolled within a few days, here and at Davyton, amounts 
to 150. 

' Many of the rum- shops and gambling-houses, which were 
the greatest hindrances to our usefulness, have been closed ; 
husbands and wives, long separated, have been reconciled ; 
prodigal children have returned penitent to their parents ; 
banns of marriage were published last Sabbath in some 
of the chapels by the score ; ministers have been aroused 
to greater diligence and zeal ; the churches are being- 
purified ; sinners are converted ; every place of worship 
in this vicinity is crowded on the Sabbath ; the demand 
for Bibles is beyond our power to supply it ; all classes are 
compelled to give some attention to that Divine Power 
which alo7ie could accomplish siicJi results ; and many, 
" who hate the change," are compelled to exclaim, " This 
is the finger of God ! '" 

A movement of this kind among a dense population 
of semi-civilized, excitable negroes was certain to produce 
extravagances and much that was repugnant to quiet, 
unemotional people. The enemies of Christianity were 
not slow to seize upon these, to distort them and to attempt 
to use them to the discredit of that mission-work which 
many of them disliked and even openly resented. But the 
testimony of men of sober judgment is that at least 20,000 
souls were savingly awakened at this period. The mission- 
aries on the spot believed it to be a special outpouring 
of the Holy Spirit in response to prayer. The Rev. D. 
Fletcher, of Chapelton, writing on February 19, 186 1, said: — 

' During a week, early in November, our chapel was 
crowded, with little intermission, by night and by day, 
with men, women, and children, weeping and wailing aloud 
for their sins. A scene so solemn and overwhelming 
I thought could not be witnessed prior to the judgment 

II. C c 


day. I continued with the people till my strength was 
completely exhausted, and then applied to the Rev. C. H. 
Hall, the rector of the parish, for assistance, who promptly 
complied, and relieved me for a few days. 

' After the first excitement subsided, we invited all who 
could solemnly believe that they had undergone a saving 
change, to meet us for the purpose of forming a general 
class of candidates for Church-fellowship ; and between three 
and four hundred professed to have been converted during 
one month, not a few of whom had been living in gross 
immorality. They comprised some of the most intelligent, 
and many of the most ignorant, of our community. We 
had a few extraordinary cases of persons "stricken," or 
prostrated ; but we have not had reason to complain of such 
extravagance and superstition as have been reported in 
some other parts of the island, where the people have been 
left very much to themselves during the excitement. 

' The following are a few of the pleasant fruits of the revival 
at Chapelton : — Union and peace among all classes — places 
of worship crowded with earnest worshippers — court-houses 
deserted — policemen and magistrates superseded — scenes 
of revelry and debauchery forsaken — hundreds of persons 
who had lived in concubinage entered into the sacred state 
of matrimony — a Christian association formed, numbering 
about six hundred members — a Dorcas society — a benevo- 
lent society — and a vocal music society. I may add, 
that our day school at Chapelton has increased in numbers 
to two hundred and forty since the revival, the half of 
which number would have been reckoned a large school 
in former times.' 

The Rev. W. Hillyer, of Mount Zion, writing on February 
23, 1861, confirmed this testimony: — 

' Since the great religious movement commenced, it is 
most gratifying to see the crowds of persons of all ages 
who flock to the house of God. For several weeks we 
held a variety of extra meetings, which were all well 
attended. I had open-air preaching in different parts of 
the neighbourhood. A large number have joined the 


classes, and many who were living in open sin have been 
reclaimed. Men who had long deserted their wives, and 
wives their husbands, sought out each other, and have been 
reconciled ; and on every hand there are tokens of the 
work of the Holy Spirit, 

' Much has been said and written for and against the 
revival. Some men of high temperature have scarcely 
acknowledged an error in the whole affair ; others have 
taken the entirely opposite view, and have condemned it 
as the work of the devil. I have seen much of it, and have 
calmly and deliberately considered the matter, and can 
testify that although there is a decided improvement among 
the people in every respect, there are not so many instances 
of conversion to God as we at first anticipated. When the 
people have been under little or no pastoral control, ex- 
travagant errors abound, to the great annoyance of the 
better disposed ones.' 

The missionaries exercised a wise discretion in not 
adding too hastily to the churches those who had been so 
deeply stirred by the revival. The most hopeful converts 
were the young, and many of these and not a few of the 
elder converts were permanently gained for the service 
of Christ. But the time of spiritual exaltation was followed 
by one of reaction in which many from whom better things 
had been hoped fell away. A season of drought led to 
much sickness ; the Civil War in the United States also 
injuriously affected the island, and then followed the 
change of policy in 1867, which ultimately led the Society 
to close its work in Jamaica. The reasons for this, 
and the methods employed, are set forth in the next 
chapter. As a result of this action no new missionaries 
were sent to Jamaica, and one by one, as the missionaries 
died or retired, the stations occupied by the Society 
disappeared from the list. Missionary work in the island 
was greatly affected by the disturbances which broke out 
in the Morant Bay district in 1865^ and which were so 
savagely repressed by Governor Eyre. 

The missionaries of the Society and the stations occu- 

C c 2 


pied in 1866 were: Rev. James Milne, First Hill and Dry 
Harbour; Rev. W. Alloway, Ridgemount; Rev. W. Hillyer, 
Davyton ; Rev. A. Lindo, Whitefield ; Rev. T. H. Clark, 
Four Paths and Brixton Hill; Rev. John Dalgleish, 
Chapelton ; Rev. Alfred Joyce, Mount Zion ; Rev. W. 
J. Gardner, Kingston. 

Mr. Milne died at First Hill in 1873 ; Mr. Alloway 
died at Ridgemount in 1877: Mr. Hillyer died at Kingston, 
November 26, 1 866 ; Mr. Lindo's church became self-support- 
ing at this time ; Mr. Clark, on the death of Mr. Alloway, 
took charge of Ridgemount, and from 1880 to 1883 was the 
sole agent in the island of the Society, and the medium of 
communication between it and the native pastors. Illness 
compelled his return to England in 1883. In 1867 
Mr. Dalgleish returned to Demerara ; Mr. Joyce retired 
in 1875; Mr. Gardner died at Kingston in 1874. In this 
way the connection of the Society with Jamaica, which had 
lasted within one year of half a century, came to an end. 



The close scrutiny and change of policy inaugurated by 
the Board in 1867 began with the West Indies. The require- 
ments of that mission formed the subject of the first Budget 
Dispatch. The Dispatch points out that at the time British 
Guiana contained 100,000 and Jamaica 400,000 natives, 
' a population just equal to that of Calcutta or Canton,' 
and that this population ' enjoys the services of 300 ministers 
of the Gospel, of whom 140 are supplied by missionary 
societies.' ' The bulk of the population is nominally 
Christian, and has been for some years as well instructed 
in Christianity as an equal number of persons in the country 
parts of England.' They record that in 1866 Jamaica had, 
so far as their own Society was concerned, five missionaries, 
two native pastors, nine stations, 2,038 members, 7,000 
adherents, an income of £,i,\ 18, and that during the year 
1866 the Directors expended on the mission an additional 
^1,237. British Guiana in the same year had eight 
missionaries, two native pastors, fifteen stations, 3,200 
members, i6,cco adherents, an income of ^3,156, and the 
additional expenditure of the Board amounted to ^3,945- 

Making all due allowances the Board felt that the time 
had come for a new departure. 

' They have resolved, therefore, to adopt the following 
measures : First, they limit the staff of English missionaries 
to the number of men (thirteen) now left in the field. They 
desire that steady efforts shall be made to place all the 


churches under the pastoral charge of suitable native 
ministers. They desire that all the local and incidental 
expenses of the mission shall henceforth be entirely defrayed 
by the native churches. Lastly, they will limit their grants 
from England to the support of the English missionaries, 
and a small amount of general aid in the training of students 
and the promotion of evangelistic work.' 

The missionaries were formed into two distinct com- 
mittees, one for Jamaica, and one for British Guiana, and 
such rearrangement of finances made as would, it was 
hoped, save the Society ^2.500 a year. The other sections 
of the Dispatch deal with the efforts to raise up a strong 
native ministry, the formation of a Union for mutual counsel 
and help among the churches, and education, and it closes 
with these words : — 

'Wc believe there is yet a great future for the races 
among whom you labour. The Society must always be 
glad and thankful that it has enjoyed the privilege of sharing 
in the effort to raise them, and has suffered in their cause. 
All that we now propose will, we trust, conduce directly 
to the same great end. A people to be truly great must 
grow into men, and prove their manliness in every element 
of their intellectual, social, and moral being. The resolve 
is deepening every year in the Old World that the oppressed 
nations shall be free ; free from every bond that confines 
their growth, from every stigma that implies or marks 
their degradation. With increased opportunities to rise in 
mercantile, social, and public life, may they rise in Christian 
character, principle, and self-control ; in Christian consecra- 
tion and devotion to others' good. Thus will God fulfil 
His promise to " raise the poor out of the dust and the 
needy from the dunghill, to set him among princes, and 
make him inherit a throne of glory.'' ' 

This change of policy initiated that gradual relinquish- 
ment of work which has since taken place. 

The steps taken are indicated by the following resolutions 
of the Board : — 

''July 27, 1S74. — That in accordance with a resolution 


having reference to the Societys missions in the West 
Indies, adopted by the town and country Directors of the 
Society at their meeting in May, 1867, which was reaffirmed 
in principle at a special meeting of the Directors on April 
^, 1 87 J, on the revision of the Society's work, this Board is 
of opinion that the time has now come when steps should 
be taken towards the complete cessation of the Society's 
control and support of the mission churches in Jamaica and 
British Guiana ; and that as our missionaries in those fields 
are removed by death or by retirement from work, their 
places should no longer be supplied by missionaries of this 
Society. They are strongly of opinion, however, that the 
presence of English ministers in certain churches would be 
of the highest importance to their prosperity and that of 
the Christian community ; and consequently suggest that 
the Society should be ready to assist them in two ways, in 
supplying vacant pastorates as they may arise : — 

'i. By counsel and inquiry, and by sanction of the 
l^^nglish pastors who may be selected. 

' 2. By entering into a joint guarantee with these churches 
for the provision of the pastor's salary for a period not 
exceeding three years from the date of acceptance of the 
pastorate, treating each case, however, by itself, after full 
communication with the District Committee and with the 
churches themselves. 

' They recommend the adoption of such measures in the 
case of Four Paths and Brixton Hill in Jamaica, brought 
before the Directors by the Rev. T. H. Clark, and also in 
the influential churches of George Town and New Amster- 
dam in British Guiana, as soon as our missionaries at those 
stations shall deem it desirable to withdraw from their 
pastoral work.' 

'July 26, 1880. — That such churches as are capable of 
self-support, in respect to worship, the native ministry, and 
church buildings, be allowed the use of those buildings, 
rent free, for five years, these churches holding themselves 
responsible to keep them in good repair and recognizing 
the ownership of the Society in them. That the mission- 


aries consult with such other churches, as have no satis- 
factory prospect of self-support, respecting their future 
course, whether it shall be that of dissolution, the members 
severally joining neighbouring churches, as they may think 
fit, or that of amalgamation, two or more churches having 
one native pastor, or that of uniting as churches with 
evangelical denominations working in the Colony.' 
The Report for 1881 states: — 

' The West Indian Mission has, during the last ten years, 
passed almost entirely out of the care of the Society, the 
responsibilities of Christian church life having been under- 
taken by the people for themselves. In 1871 nine mission- 
aries were at work in stations connected with this mission 
in British Guiana and Jamaica. Their number has now 
been reduced to three, each of whom has a large district 
under his care. Ten churches which, at the beginning of 
the decade, were more or less dependent on the funds of the 
Society, are now entirely self-supporting, and a considerable 
amount of steady work is being done in schools and at the 

' Such results as these cannot but furnish ground for 
rejoicing. The contrast to the former days of degradation, 
ignorance, and immorality is marvellous indeed. The chief 
cause of anxiety for the future is in the generally low 
standard of Christian intelligence and feeble grasp of moral 
principles. By nature emotional, easily excited, and, when 
under the influence of excitement, promising great things, 
the African has not naturally much perseverance, is easily 
disheartened, is not generous, and requires to be often 
stimulated afresh to make exertion. The process of 
developing a strong, pure, self-reliant, and generous 
Christian life from a nature which lacks stability, and is 
not persevering, must necessarily be a slow one, and 
marked by many disappointments. But the grace which 
has wrought in the hearts of these people to bring them to 
the knowledge of Christ is sufficient to produce the new 
man in Christ Jesus. And we look forward hopefully to 
the future, expecting that these West Indian churches will 


not only learn more perfectly the lessons of steady 
generosity and of true moral consistency, but will also 
take a leading share in providing for the instruction of the 
Coolies who now form so large a section of the population ; 
and, as their ability to help the cause of God increases with 
their social progress, will be found to have so warm a 
sympathy for those of the same stock who are still inhabi- 
tants of the Dark Continent that they will provide liberally 
for missions to them.' 

Under the statistical heading West Indies, in the same 
Report, only three stations and three missionaries appear : in 
Demerara, Ebenezer, the Rev. J. Foreman ; in Berbice, New 
Amsterdam, Rev. John Dalgleish ; in Jamaica, Whitefield, 
Rev. T. H. Clark. 

In 1H83 a deputation consisting of Alexander Hubbard, 
Esq., and the Rev. Philip Colborne visited the West 
Indies, and after full consideration of their Report the 
Board adopted the following resolutions : — 

' I. That the Report of the Society's deputation has been 
read by the Directors with much interest, and, while 
regretting to learn that some of the churches founded by 
missionaries of the Society are at present in a depressed 
condition, and that influences which prevailed in former 
days of slavery and heathenism still affect in some degree 
the state of morality in the native Christian communities, 
they note with much satisfaction, and with devout thank- 
fulness, that for the most part these churches have made 
sound advance, that the state of morality among them is 
decidedly improving, and that they give promise of healthy 
progress in coming years. 

' 2. That as, from the emphatic testimony of the deputa- 
tion, supported by that of Mr. Colborne, and from evidence 
derived from other sources, there is ground for believing 
that the colonies of British Guiana and Jamaica can no 
longer be regarded as " heathen and unenlightened," and 
as evangelistic agencies of various kinds are in full opera- 
tion in these old fields of the Society's efifort, the Directors 
approve the recommendation of the deputation that no 

394 1't^IE CHANGE OF POLICY IN 1867 

more missionaries be sent by the Society to the West 

';^. That, while, as ah'eady indicated, they consider that 
it is not the duty of the Society to send more missionaries 
to the West Indies, the Directors, concurring with the 
deputation, are of opinion that it is essential to the growth 
and sound progress of the native churches that, for some 
}-ears at least, some of them, both in British Guiana and 
Jamaica, should be presided over by European pastors, 
whose presence and influence will, it is believed, be of great 
value in strengthening and guiding the native pastors and 
their churches, and who may be expected to render 
important service in the proceediiigs of the local Congrega- 
tional Unions ; and that the Congregational Unions of 
British Guiana and Jamaica be informed that the Directors, 
while not accepting any pecuniary or other responsibility in 
the matter, are prepared, at the request of those Unions, 
and through them, to render aid in the selection of such 
pastors where they are needed. 

' 4. That, as recommended by the London Missionary 
Society's West Indian Churches Committee and the Com- 
mittee of the Congregational Union of England and Wales 
at their conference on September 19, the Directors under- 
take to contribute to each of the two Unions — viz. of 
British Guiana and Jamaica — as follows : ;^3co a year for 
the next three years, iJ^2co a year for the following three 
years, and ;^ioo a )ear for the following three years — these 
grants to be expended, under the direction of each of these 
Unions respectively, in such a way as may be deemed best 
for the interests of the churches connected with each of 
these Unions which are worshipping in chapels which are 
the property of the Society, it being understood that in the 
expenditure of this money the repair of the chapels, school- 
houses, and ministers' houses which are the property of the 
Society be not overlooked. And also that each Union 
shall furnish to the Directors, annually, a satisfactor}- 
account of the mode in which the money thus granted has 
been expended. 


* 5. That the Directors will be prepared to entertain 
favourably any recommendation from the Congregational 
Unions of British Guiana and Jamaica for grants for the 
special repair, within the next twelve months, of any of 
the buildings above referred to which are the property of 
the Society. 

' The position and action which the Directors are prepared 
to take in reference to the churches established by the 
Society are designed to be in full accord with the " funda- 
mental principle " of the Society. They do not propose 
to deal with or help the churches in the West Indies or 
elsewhere as being Congregational in church polity, but as 
churches which were founded and have been fostered by 
the Society. The plan of the Board, affirmed in 1H67, and 
steadily adhered to in practice in succeeding years, has 
been that, as early as is practicable and safe, the aid and 
control of the Society be withdrawn from Christian 
churches founded by its missionaries, and that they be left 
to self-management and self-support. It was with a view 
to this issue that the scheme indicated in the resolutions 
was framed. 

' The Directors are thankful to learn that in several 
instances in the West Indies this position has been gained 
and is being satisfactorily held. But, from the report 
received from the deputation and from other sources, it is 
evident that some churches will still need help for a time. 
The Directors do not propose to render pecuniary aid to any 
church the members of which, if duly actuated by a spirit 
of independence and by a proper sense of Christian obliga- 
tion, are capable of taking an independent position. Their 
object is to encourage churches which are right-minded and 
liberal, but which are, at present, unsuccessful in attaining 
that position of independence which they rightly desire to 
occupy ; but, in doing this, the Directors design only to 
supplement that aid which the local Unions may be able 
to render from other funds at their disposal. 

' Thus these churches in the West Indies are being 
encouraged and assisted by the Society to take an 


important onward step in the direction of self-support and 
management, in doing" which the Directors desire for them 
the guidance and restraining influence of the Head of the 

The Report for 1H85 narrates the close of seventy-six 
years of work, 1808 to 1884. It stated that the arrange- 
ments made in 1884 have been duly carried out. Save for 
the annual grant the churches are entirely independent of 
the Society. From that date the West Indies disappear 
from the Reports. But the churches there have never yet 
been able to reach a strong and absolutely self-supporting 
basis, and once and again the Society has had to come to 
their aid with special helpers and special grants. 


' And these from the land of Sinim.' — Isaiah xlix. 12. 

' What, then, do the Chinese require from Europe ? — Not the arts of reading 
and printing ; not merely general education ; not what is so much harped on 
by some philanthropists — civilization : they require that only which St. Paul 
deemed supremely excellent, and which it is the sole object of the Missionarj^ 
Society to communicate — they require the knozv/eJge of Chi-ist.^ — Robert 

' I am called to suffer affliction, as you know, in the absence of my family 
from me for so long a period. I am sometimes deeply grieved. The Society 
says I should go home ; but I cannot in common prudence leave my station at 
this period. I should like much to visit Europe, and to run to the solace of 
my afflicted wife and infant children, but wishes, and the lesser duties, must 
give way to the greater.'— Robert Morrison hi 1818. 

' Some centuries ago, Xavier, the greatest missionary of Rome to the East, 
attempted to enter China, but failed, and he could only exclaim with liis dying 
breath, " Rock, rock, when wilt thou open ? " About forty years ago, God, in 
His mysterious providence, smote that rock, and it trembled, and it shook, and 
it yawned ; and a few missionaries rushed in. But they were not allowed to 
go far. About twenty years ago, God smote that rock again, and it sank and 
disappeared ; and now we may go up into the land, every man straight before 
him, and possess it. " This is God's doing, and it is marvellous in our sight." ' 
— Griffith John at Manchester in 1881. 

' Lately, I am being more and more impressed with the idea that what is 
wanted in China is not new " lightning " methods so much as good, honest, 
quiet, earnest work, in old lines and way.' — J.WIES Gli.MOUR in 1891, when on 
the brink oj^eieniity. 



Europeans in 1795 knew even less of China than they 
did of India. The voyage thither was the most distant 
that could then be taken. The arrogance and exclusive- 
ness of the Chinese Government, their hatred of and con- 
tempt for everything foreign, kept even the enterprising 
officials of the East India Company at arm's length. 
Robert Morrison, when about to return after his only visit 
to England, thus described the conditions of life in the 
country where for eighteen years he had been the solitary 
Protestant missionary: — 

' Europeans are allowed to live only on the frontiers 
of China, at Canton and Macao. In these places are 
a vast number of Catholics ^ and pagans. Each have 
their processions almost continually passing through the 
streets ; the one seeming, as it were, to mock the other. 
Amongst these is our residence. Europeans are not 
allowed to go any great distance from, the suburbs of these 
places, and then they must be unaccompanied by their 
families. Canton is wholly given up to idolatry, to gain, 
to dissipation : Sunday and Saturday are alike. The 
sound of merchandise — packing and unpacking of goods — 
the chinking of dollars — the firing of maroons to salute 
vessels going out and coming in — the ringing of bells 
to awaken sleepy gods, are heard every day alike. There 
is no such thing as rest to a Chinaman ; all is bustle and 
fatigue, except for a few days at the beginning of the year, 

^ This refers to Macao only. 

400 ROBERT MORRISON : 1S07-1S34 

when rich and poor, old and young, men, women, and 
children, all purchase some new garment, and repair to the 
temples of their idols for worship. And then eating and 
drinking, drunkenness and debauchery ensue, till the wants 
of the poor, and the fatigue of the rich, call them to engage 
again in their various pursuits. Malacca is twelve hundred 
miles from Canton, and of course a long journey must be 
taken if we wish to see our brethren there. If the monsoons 
set in, we are six months before we can get letters from 
them. And if our friends here do not write to us before 
they hear of our arrival in China, it will be about two years 
before we hear from them ^' 

On another occasion during that visit Morrison described 
the Chinese in relation to their need of the Gospel : — 

' To that people, the God of heaven has given an 
extensive territory, containing large portions of fertile, 
salubrious, and delightful country ; and they possess 
a knowledge of the useful arts, to a degree which supplies 
all the necessaries, and most of the luxuries, of life. In 
these respects, they require nothing from Europe. They 
possess also ancient and modern literature in great 
abundance ; and an unlicensed press, and cheap books 
suited to their taste. "With poetry, and music ; and 
elegant compositions ; and native ancient classics ; and 
copious histories of their own part of the world ; and anti- 
quities, and topographical illustrations ; and dramatic 
compositions ; and delineations of men and manners, in 
works of fiction ; and tales of battles and of murders ; and 
the tortuous stratagems of protracted and bloody civil 
wars ; — with all these and with mythological legends for 
the superstitious, the Chinese, and kindred nations, are, by 
the press, most abundantly supplied. Nor is their litera- 
ture destitute of theories of nature, and descriptions of her 
various productions, and the processes of the pharmaco- 
polist, and the history and practice of medicine. 

'What, then, do the Chinese require from Europe? — Not 
the arts of reading and printing ; not merely general edu- 
' Memoirs of the Life and Labours of Kobe rt Morrison, D.D., vol. i. p. 339. 


cation ; not what is so much harped on by some philan- 
thropists — civiHzation :• they require that only which St. Paul 
deemed supremely excellent, and which it is the sole object 
of the Missionary Society to communicate — they require 
the knowledge of Christ. For with all their antiquity, and 
their literature, and their arts and refinement, they are still 
infatuated idolaters ; and are given up to vile affections, 
working that which is unseemly. Not liking to retain God 
in their knowledge, they worship and serve the creature 
rather than the Creator ; they are haters of the true God, 
are filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, and wicked- 
ness. With all their civilization, still envy and malice, 
deceit and falsehood, to a boundless extent — with a selfish, 
ungenerous prudence, and a cold metaphysical inhumanity — 
are the prevalent characteristics of the people of China. 

' Their well-known backwardness to assist persons in 
imminent danger of losing their lives by drowning, or other- 
wise ; the cruel treatment of domestic slaves and concu- 
bines in families ; the torture both of men and women 
before conviction in public courts ; and the murder of 
female infants, connived at, contrary to law ; are the proofs 
I offer of the truth of the latter part of my accusation. 
Their principles are defective, and hence their vicious 

' The philosophy of their celebrated ancient sage, Con- 
fucius, acknowledges no future state of existence ; and, 
concerning the duties of man to his Maker, presents 
a complete blank. It presents nothing beyond the grave, 
to the fears or hopes of the human mind, but the praise 
or censure of posterity. Present expediency is the chief 
motive of action. Of the great and glorious God who 
is infinitely above, and distinct from, the heavens and 
the earth, the teaching of Confucius makes no mention ; 
it rises not superior to an obscure recognition of some 
principle of order in nature, which, when violated, induces 
present evil. It is true, that in some of the most ancient 
written documents in China, which Confucius collected and 
edited, there is a more distinct recognition of the supreme 

II. D d 

402 ROBERT MORRISON: 1807-1S34 

God than is to be found in anything that he has thought 
as his own, or that the learned of China, in subsequent 
ages, have advanced ; for I believe it is a fact that man. 
when left to himself, sinks into, never rises from, atheism 
or idolatry ; and the written word of God is necessary 
to bring him back. Exclusive of the system of Confucius, 
there are in China two other systems, which make much 
more use of the gods than his, and which acknowledge 
a future state of rewards and punishments. These systems 
enjoin fastings, and prayers, and penances, and masses for 
the dead, and threaten the wicked with varied punishments, 
in different hells, in a separate state ; or with poverty, or 
disease, or a brute nature, when they shall be born again 
into this world. 

' The Budha sect, which was, at the close of the first 
century, brought from India to China, believe the trans- 
migration of souls. They, like the Taouists, have priests 
and priestesses, who live as the monks and nuns of Europe, 
and who are licensed by the state; but none of them 
receive any emoluments from it. The sect of the Learned, 
who profess to be followers of Confucius, and who fill the 
offices of government, employs no priests. Fathers, and 
magistrates, and princes worship, and do sacrifice in their 
own proper persons, to the household gods, the district 
gods, the spirits of rivers and of hills, and the gods of the 
fire, and the winds, and the rain, and the thunder, and the 
earth, and the heavens, and the polar star. They worship, 
too, the image of Confucius, who never professed to be 
more than a man, and who even declined the title of Sage, 
and who never taught the separate existence of the human 
soul ; which doctrine indeed his disciples deny. These 
philosophists often laugh at the religionists of their own 
country, but still observe the rites and superstitions, and 
worship the idols of the other sects, as well as their own. 
The governors of provinces, and local magistrates, often visit 
the Budh temples, and fall prostrate before the cross-legged 
image of woolly-headed Budha ; and subscribe largely for 
the support of the priests, the repair of the temples, the 


making of new gods, and the cleaning and ornamenting 
of old ones. And his Tartar Majesty of China frequently 
confers new titles and honours on the gods of the land. 
Man creates and dignifies the gods that he worships ^ ! ' 

The first reference in the Society's records to the estab- 
lishment of a mission in China is found in the Report for 
1805. Mr. Hardcastle, the Treasurer, had suggested the 
occupation of this field. It was known that direct preaching 
of the Gospel would be difficult and dangerous, if not 
impossible. But it might be possible to acquire the 
language, with which at that time only one British subject, 
Sir G. T. Staunton, was believed to be acquainted ; and, 
this done, the Bible might be translated into the language 
of over three hundred millions of heathen. The plan set 
forth in the Report for 1805 was to establish a mission at 
Prince of Wales' Island, better known as Penang, consisting 
of at least three or four able missionaries. The Report for 
1 8c6 tells us two had been accepted for this service who 
were aided in the study of Chinese by a native then resident 
in London, a man afterwards long associated with the 
Chinese Mission — Yung Sam-Tak. The Directors con- 
sidered it 'very desirable that an elder Christian should 
accompany this mission,' and suggested Vanderkemp on 
the ground that, as so many new missionaries had recently 
been sent to Africa, the doctor himself could be spared. 

With the occasion came the man, but not the men. In 
1807 Robert Morrison sailed, but the intended colleague did 
not go. The Report for that year tells us : — ' Mr. Morrison, 
after acquiring as much knowledge of the language as he 
could attain in this country, and having, with great steadi- 
ness and assiduity, improved himself in several useful 
sciences, has left England, with a view of proceeding to 
Canton ; for the Directors, on the best information, thought 
it best to decline sending him, in the first instance, to Prince 
of Wales' Island, as they once intended. Mr. Morrison 
will make the translation of the Holy Scriptures into the 
Chinese language the first and grand object of his atten- 

^ Life of Morrison, vol. \\ p. 272 et seq. 
I) d 2 

404 ROBERT MORRISON : 1807-lS3i 

tion ; and though the same laudable enterprise is attempt- 
ing; at the College of Fort William, in Bengal, yet the 
production of a good and satisfactory translation will 
perhaps be better effected by the labours of different 
scholars, and in different places, than by their joint efforts 
in the same situation.' 

Robert Morrison, who was to do for China what Carey 
had done for India, was a great and good man, called and 
equipped by God to do a great work. Like most of the 
other pioneer missionaries, he was of lowly origin. He was 
born near Morpeth in 17H2, and brought up in association 
with the Presbyterian Church. His attention was early 
drawn to the missionary enterprises of the Society, and he 
gave himself to a close and careful study of Scripture. In 
iSoz he applied for admission to Hoxton Academy with 
a view to fit himself for the ministry : he was accepted, and 
in January, 1H03, he reached London. Early in 1804 he 
offered himself to the Society : he was accepted, and directed 
to proceed at once to Gosport. Thence on July zg, 1804, 
he wrote to his sister : ' It is in agitation to send me on 
a mission to China : however, it is all uncertain as yet. 
I have thought of going to Timbuctoo in Africa. I hope 
the Lord will carry me out to some situation where he will 
make me abundantly useful to the souls of men.' We are 
told in his biography ' ' it was his own deliberate conviction 
that his destination to China was in answer to prayer ; for 
his expressed desire was that God would station him in 
that part of the missionary field where the difficulties 
w^ere the greatest, and, to all human appearance, the most 

Among his fellow-students at Gosport were Loveless, 
who went to Madras, and John Angell James. The latter 
has sketched for us his great fellow-student. ' He was 
a remarkable man while at college. Studious beyond 
most others ; grave almost to gloom ; abstracted ; some- 
what morose, but evidently absorbed in the contemplation 
of the great object which seemed to be ever swelling 
^ Vol. i. p. 65. 


into more awful magnitude and grandeur the nearer he 
approached it. I remember his coming to me at one time 
when his mind seemed much depressed, and saying, "James, 
let us go and pray together " : we retired to his chamber, 
where he poured out his burdened spirit to the Lord, and, 
to use a scriptural expression, " he looked unto the Lord, 
and his face was lightened ^" ' 

Morrison left Gosport in August, 1805, and came to 
London to acquire some knowledge of medicine and 
astronomy, and above all to study Chinese. Through 
Dr. Moseley, of Clapham, he got to know Yung Sarii-Tak. 
He also transcribed a Chinese manuscript which he found in 
the British Museum, a Harmony of the Gospels, Acts and 
Epistles (except Hebrews), and a manuscript Latin and 
Chinese Dictionary lent him by the Royal Society. He was 
ordained on January 8, 1807^ at the same time as Gordon 
and Lee, who were appointed to South India, and as it was 
impossible to get passage in an East Indiaman, he sailed on 
January 31 for Canton, with them, via New York. He 
landed at Canton September 7, 1807, and was hospitably 
received by the American supercargoes, Messrs. Milnor 
and Bull, who allowed him to reside in the old French 
Factory which they themselves occupied. On February i, 
] 808, in order to enjoy greater facilities for his work, he 
removed to a French Factory, kindly offered to him by 
Mr. Parry, and there prosecuted with great assiduity his 
twofold task of perfecting his knowledge of Chinese, and 
of translating the Bible into that difficult tongue. His 
diary shows how he threw himself into this task. ' I have 
considered,' he writes on January 10, 1808, 'that the 
acquisition of the language, for the purpose of aiding in 
the translation of the Scriptures, is my highest duty for 
the present ; and to this object I have devoted, I will not 
say the most, but the whole of my time and strength.' 
How difficult evangelistic work was extracts like this for 
May 3 show : — ' I had an opportunity of speaking on the 
way of salvation to a Chinese person who professes faith 

* Life of John Atigell Jatiies, by R. W. Dale, p. 47. 


in Jesus. Of the scheme of the Gospel, though he named 
the name of Christ, he knew nothing. The Europeans 
with whom I converse on the final object of my mission 
profess to despair entirely of its success. But nothing is 
too hard for God.' 

On June i he went to Macao, about joo miles south of 
Canton, for the benefit of his health, which was suffering: 
from his close application to study. He was the guest of 
Mr. Roberts, the chief of the English P^actory there. He 
returned to Canton at the end of August. Early in 
November, owing to political difficulties between the British 
and Portuguese, he had to leave Canton suddenly and 
again visited Macao. During this second visit he renewed 
his acquaintance with Yung Sam-Tak, and became friendly 
with the family of a Mr. Morton, who had brought a 
letter of introduction from Mr. Loveless. By the close 
of 1808 he Avas able to write home: 'The Grammar is 
being prepared for the press, and the Dictionary is daily 
being filled up. The MS. of the New Testament is in 
part to be printed. All these, however, are deferred till 
I shall be more deeply versed in the language, that what 
shall be done may not be hasty and imperfect.' The 
difficulties of his position at this time are pointed out in 
Milne's TV;/ Vc^7's' Retrospect : — 

'At this time he felt so unwilling to obtrude himself 
on the notice of the people at Macao, that he never walked 
out. He carried this precaution further than was necessarj' ; 
but it seemed better to err on the safe side. His health 
began to suffer from it, so that latterly he could scarcely 
walk across the room with ease to himself. The first time 
he ventured out to the fields adjoining the town of Macao 
was on a moonlight night, under the escort of two Chinese. 
The very delicate circumstances in which he was placed at 
the time referred to, required the most rigorous caution. 
Indeed, since the commencement of the mission this has 
ever been requisite ; to relax for a single day, or in a single 
instance, might be of fatal consequence to the cause. 

' The patience that refuses to be conquered, the dih'gence 


that never tires, the caution that always trembles, and the 
studious habit that spontaneously seeks retirement, were 
best adapted for the situation of the first missionary to 
China ^' 

On February 20, 1809, Morrison married the eldest 
daughter of Mr. Morton. So great had the difficulties of 
residence in Macao become that he had resolved to go to 
Penang. But God overruled his purpose, and upon the day 
of his wedding he was offered the post of Chinese Trans- 
lator in the East India Company's F"actory, at a salary of 
;^5oo a year. This appointment rendered his position as 
a resident in China secure, enabled him to support himself 
and yet get time enough to complete his great task, and 
may be said to constitute the turning-point in his career. 
Mr. Milne's descrijotion of this period is instructive: — 

'The duties of his situation were at first extremely 
oppressive, through his still imperfect knowledge of the 
language. He felt it his duty to be faithful to those who 
had employed him. He had not confidence in his own 
knowledge of the language, nor could he trust in the 
natives. The many perplexing hours which he spent in 
the duties of his new situation will not soon be forgotten. 
He always, however, felt one satisfaction, viz. that all his 
duties were of such a kind as bore, at least indirectly, on 
his primary views ; they were so many lessons in Chinese V 

Even with the advantage of an official post he had to 
endure much inconvenience from the haughty intolerance 
of the Chinese. 

' We experience great difficulties from the Chinese officers 
of government. We have to learn in secret, and have 
often had to hide our books and papers. My assistants 
have again and again run from me through fear. Lately, 
for a few days, we had much difficulty to procure the neces- 
saries of life. Our man was taken up when he went to 
market. Our Chinese woman servant we were obliged to 
send away. It is the custom of this place that the man 

' J^ife of Morrison, p. 241. 
^ Ibid. p. 257. 


who purchases your food takes out a kind of licence and 
becomes answerable for all that is done in your house. 
Learning their language the Chinese do not allow. Hence 
our difficulty '.' 

In every moment that could be snatched from his less 
congenial official duties — duties, however, which he never 
permitted himself to rob of one instant of necessary time — 
he prosecuted with intense energy his three great literary un- 
dertakings — the Chinese Dictionary, the Chinese Grammar, 
and, above all, his version of the Chinese New Testament. 
He had brought to China a translation of the Acts. By 
the autumn of 1810 he found himself sufficiently master of 
the language to revise and prepare this for the press. In 
September, i8jo, it was printed. In a letter to the Directors, 
dated January 7, 1 811, he states : — 

' In September I sent the Acts of the Apostles, carefully 
revised with the Greek text, corrected and pointed, to 
a Chinese printer, and after having a specimen of his work- 
manship, engaged for 1000 copies. I am to have the blocks 
which, if cut on good wood, according to our agreement, 
will strike off 15,000 copies before they need to be repaired, 
and after that the plates may be used for a greater or less 
period of time ; how many they will strike off before they 
are absolutely useless I cannot say. The terms arc 521 
dollars. It is not concealed from me that this charge is 
higher than for a Chinese book, being in proportion to the 
hazard incurred on account of my being a foreigner.' 

Mr. Milne, writing of the same period, further illustrates 
the risk and difficulty of the work: — 

' The charge for printing the Acts of the Apostles was 
exorbitantly high. It amounted to more than half a dollar 
per copy, the price at which the whole New Testament has 
since been printed. But it was considered a prohibited 
book, and some risk was supposed to be run by those who 
undertook to execute the printing. The insatiable avarice 
of the Chinese inclines them, on every occasion, to impose 
on foreigners; and the exclusive nature of their govern- 
' Lz/c of Morrison, p. 2SS. 


ment furnishes them with every facility for cozening. They 
seem to consider all foreigners as their enemies, and to 
a certain extent treat them as such. It was not therefore 
expected, under such a state of things, that any part of the 
Christian Scriptures could be printed at the usual price of 
other Chinese books, published by natives themselves^.' 

Hard as the translation work was, and manifold the risks 
attending it, the spiritual work upon which his heart was 
set was still more difficult. Here is his own account of the 
year icSi j : — 

' My chief work, this year, is a translation of the Gospel 
by St. Luke, which is now printing. I have also printed 
a thousand copies of a religious tract, which I composed in 
Chinese. I have also formed a Chinese Catechism, a copy 
of which I purpose to send to the Society this season. On 
the Lord's day, I have preached to the Chinese in my own 
house. They attend with decency and seriousness, and, 
I think, feel in some degree the influence of the truths 
which I state ; but I have not yet to rejoice over them as 
converted to God. There has lately been an edict from 
the emperor, prohibiting the propagation of Christianity in 
the empire ; and four Roman Catholic missionaries have 
been sent from Peking".' 

In J Hi 2 the famous edict against Christianity was issued 
by the emperor. Morrison sent home a translation of it, 
and two passages from this will illustrate the spirit which 
prompted its promulgation : — 

' The Europeans worship God, because in their own 
country they are used to do so ; and it is quite unnecessary 
to inquire into the motive : but then, why do they disturb 
the common people of the interior? — appointing, unautho- 
rizedly, priests and other functionaries, who spread this 
through all the provinces, in obvious infraction of the law ; 
and the common people deceived by them, they succeed 
each other from generation to generation, unwilling to 
depart from their delusion. This may approach very near 

^ Life of Morrison, vol. i. p. 296. 
^ Ibid. vol. i. p. 298. 


to bring a rebellion. Reflecting that the said religion 
neither holds spirits in veneration, nor ancestors in rever- 
ence, clearly this is to walk contrary to sound doctrine; and 
the common people, who follow and familiarize themselves 
with such delusions, in what respect do they differ from 
a rebel mob? If there is not decreed some punishment, 
how shall the evil be eradicated ? And how shall the human 
heart be rectified? 

' From this time forward, such European as shall privately 
print books and establish preachers, in order to pervert the 
multitude, and the Tartars and Chinese, who, deputed by 
Europeans^ shall propagate their religion, bestowing names, 
and disquieting numbers, shall have this to look to : — the 
chief or principal one shall be executed ; — whoever shall 
spread their religion, not making much disturbance, nor to 
many men, and without giving names, shall be imprisoned, 
waiting the time of execution ; and those who shall content 
themselves with following such religion, without wishing to 
reform themsek^es, they shall be exiled ^.' 

Morrison's comment was: — 

' I now enclose you a translation of a Chinese edict, by 
which you will see that to print books on the Christian 
religion in Chinese is rendered a capital crime. I must, 
however, go forward, trusting in the Lord. We will 
scrupulously obey Governments as far as their decrees do 
not oppose what is required by the Almighty ; I will be 
careful not to invite the notice of Government. I am, 
though sensible of in}- weakness, not discouraged, but 
thankful that my own most sanguine hopes have been more 
than realized. In the midst of discouragement, the practica- 
bility of acquiring the language in no very great length of 
time, of translating the Scriptures, and of having them 
printed in China, has been demonstrated. I am grateful to 
the Divine Being for having employed me in this good 
work, and, should I die soon, it will afford me pleasure in 
my last moments.' 

In the course of 1812 the first mention occurs of what 
' Life 0/ Morrison, vol. i. p. 335. 


later became an accomplished fact, and of which a sketch 
will be given later, the establishment at Malacca of an insti- 
tution for the training of missionaries, native and European, 
to fit them for service in China and the adjoining districts. 
This scheme took definite shape in Morrison's mind in 1H13, 
when it had become evident that Milne's stay in Macao 
was practically impossible. Macao was exceptional in 
many respects, and the eye of faith sees a divine purpose 
in that combination of circumstances which brought about 
just at this epoch a divided government and responsibility 
in the one Chinese port in any degree open to foreigners : — 

' The Chinese disallow any more Europeans to be landed 
at Macao to remain. This has been a standing law (but 
overlooked the last hundred years). The Portuguese are 
also ordered, from their court, to admit no persons but such 
as are connected with some of the European Factories. 
Macao is a kind of mixed government, partly Chinese, 
partly Portuguese. The Chinese are masters, and give 
orders to the Portuguese Governor and Senate. As the 
Chinese law forbids foreigners to be landed, the petty 
officers always demand money on the landing of any 

On July 4, 1813, to Morrison's great joy, his long-expected 
and greatly desired colleague arrived — William Milne. He 
was an Aberdeen man, a member of Dr. Philip's church, 
and had been trained under Bogue in Gosport. His aptness 
for study, especially of language, and his spiritual fervour, 
soon marked him out to Bogue's discriminating judgment 
as a true colleague for the lonely Chinese missionary. 
Morrison's diary for July 4, 1H13, a Sunday, contains this 
entry : — 

' About three o'clock, as Mrs. Morrison and I were about 
to sit down at the Lord's table to commemorate His death 
and passion, a note arrived from Mr. Milne, saying that he 
had landed. We of course felt much agitated. The mingled 
emotions of joy and hope and fear which were felt, cannot 
easily be described. A companion in labour, whose arrival 
for six long years I had been wishing for, having now 


actually set his foot on shore in this land, ren:iote from 
our native isle, made me very glad. My Mary, who had 
long wished and prayed for a pious companion to cheer our 
solitude, and join with us in the exercises of devotion, was 
overjoyed on the arrival of Mrs. Milne. But what would 
be their reception — whether they would be allowed to 
remain — or whether they would be driven away, were all 
equally uncertain, though not equally probable. That 
which was not wished for, was greatly to be feared ^' 

Morrison's fears received speedy fulfilment. In spite of 
all the influence he and his friends could bring to bear, 
Milne was ordered to leave Macao in eight days. Ulti- 
mately the difficulty was temporarily met by sending 
Milne on July 20 to Canton, while Mrs. Milne stayed with 
the Morrisons. There Morrison joined him a few weeks 
later ; and on September 30 his diary contains an impor- 
tant entry. After stating that he found Milne well, and 
studying the language with characteristic ardour, Morrison 
records: 'A short time before I left Macao I finished the 
translation of the New Testament.' And on December 31, 
1 813, he records: — 

' I bless the Lord that this year the New Testament has 
been completed in Chinese, and is now nearly all printed. 
O that it may be the means of great good ! Lord, own 
it as Thine own word ; let it not return unto Thee void. 

' I bless God that an assistant to the work has come 
out ; a man, I trust, fitted by the grace of God in a good 
degree. May the Lord spare him, and bless him, for His 
name's sake. May the heathen have reason to bless God 
on his behalf. 

' I mourn that I have not yet seen the heathen turned from 
the error of their ways effectually. I fear that I have been 
deficient in declaring the whole counsel of God. Lord, 
forgive, and help me to preach faithfully the Gospel of 
Jesus. Amen and amen.' 

Milne resided nearly four months in Canton, and a por- 
tion of this time Morrison was with him aiding him in the 
' Li/e of Morrison, vol. i. p. 364. 


toilsome study of Chinese. The impossibility of securing 
permission for Milne to reside in Macao led them to 
resolve that Milne should, early in 1814, make a journey 
through the chief Chinese settlements in the Malay Archi- 
pelago to circulate the New Testament and religious 
tracts, to discover, if possible, the proper place for a per- 
manent Chinese Mission, and to acquire as much useful 
information as possible for the future conduct of the 
mission. Mr. Milne left Macao February 14, 1814, visited 
Banca and Batavia, travelled 1,400 miles through Java, 
landed at Malacca on August 19, and returned to Macao 
September 5, 1814. 

The Bible Society had taken a great interest in Mor- 
rison's translation work, and aided it by very generous 
donations. Under date of January 28, 1814, he wrote to 
Lord Teignmouth, the then President of the Society : — 
' Allow me this day, as if present from the land of China 
in the midst of your animating assembly, to lay before 
you a translation of the New Testament into Chinese, 
made and published at Canton.' 

On January 11, 1814, he had written to the Secretary 
announcing the conclusion of this part of his great enter- 
prise in terms which prove that he was not blind to the 
necessary limitations and imperfections of his work : — 

' The second grant of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society of ;^5oo to aid in translating, printing, and circu- 
lating the Holy Scriptures in China, was received with due 
feelings of respect and esteem for that benevolent institu- 
tion. I beg to inform the Society that the translation of 
the New Testament, carrying on at this place, into the 
Chinese language, has been completed, and I hourly expect 
the last sheet from the press. 

' Two thousand copies of the New Testament are now 
passing through the press, which will cost about 3,818 
Spanish dollars. Allow me to notice, that I give this 
translation to the world not as a perfect translation. That 
some sentences are obscure, that some might be better 
rendered, I suppose to be matter of course in every trans- 

414 ROBERT MORRISON : 1S07-1S34 

lation made by a foreigner ; and in particular, in a transla- 
tion of the Sacred Scriptures, where paraphrase is not to be 
admitted. All who know me will believe the honesty of 
my intentions, and I have done my best. It only remains 
that I commit it. by prayer, to the divine blessing. 

' The Gospel, the closing Epistles, and the book of Reve- 
lation, are entirely my own translating. The middle part 
of the volume is founded on the work of some unknown 
individual, whose pious labours were deposited in the British 
Museum. I took the liberty of altering and supplying 
what appeared to me to be requisite ; and I feel great 
pleasure in recording the benefit which I first derived from 
the labours of my unknown predecessor^.' 

The same year, 1814, witnessed the baptism of the first 
convert, a man named Tsae A-ko. Seven years had 
passed before Morrison was permitted to enjoy this happi- 
ness. His sketch of the man shows by what slow stages 
a Chinaman comes to any apprehension of spiritual truth : — 

' A-ko is the son of a second concubine. His father's 
wife died without children. His father died when he was 
sixteen years of age. When he was twenty-one he came 
to my house, and heard me talk of Jesus ; but says he did 
not well understand what I meant. That was my first 
year in China. Three years after^ when I could speak 
better, and could write, he understood better : and being 
employed by his brother in superintending the New Testa- 
ment for the press, he says that he began to see the merits 
of Jesus were able to save all men in all ages and nations, 
and hence he listened to and believed in Him. 

' His natural temper is not good. He often disagreed 
with his brother and other domestics : and I thought it 
better that he should retire from my service. He however 
continued, whenever he was within a few miles, to come 
to worship on the Sabbath-day. He prayed earnestly 
morning and evening, and read the Decalogue as contained 
in the Catechism. He says that from the Decalogue and 
instruction of friends he saw his great and manifold errors, 

' Liyy of Morrison, vol. i. p. 394. 


that his nature was wrong, that lie had been unjust, and 
that he had not fulfilled his duty to his friends or brothers 
or other men. His knowledge of course is very limited, 
and his views perhaps obscure, I^ut I hope that his faith 
in Jesus is sincere^.' 

Early in 1815 Mrs. Morrison, with her children, visited 
England on account of her health. Even earlier in the 
year Milne had left for Penang to open a mission-station 
there. Once more Morrison was left alone, the solitary 
representative of Protestant missions among four hundred 
millions of Chinese. The year passed uneventfully. In 
his review he states : — 

'As much work yet remains before me in respect of 
translation, I pursue the object of the mission in my closet. 
My services I continue on the Lords day; but fear, on the 
part of those who hear me, prevents their making a public 
profession of what they have, I hope, some regard for. The 
difficulties and discouragements of the last year (1H15) were 
numerous. The seizure of the type-cutters who were 
employed in cutting the types for the Dictionary occasioned 
much anxiety ; and the suspense in which I was held for 
some time was embarrassing. God has mercifully spared 
me hitherto : blessed be His name. 

' This season the first number of the Dictionary will 
be forwarded to your and Mr. Hardcastle's care. I hope 
the Missionary Society will consider it as a furthering the 
object of the mission. It is to me a great task. The 
length of time which it will require to finish it quite dis- 
courages me. But for it I believe I should have gone to 
England this season, to bring my family again to these 

' I learned yesterday that, during the difficulties in which 
the type-cutters were involved, the bookseller in whose 
possession were the duodecimo blocks of the New Testa- 
ment, destroyed them to prevent discovery. I can do 
nothing at present respecting it ; I must wait. Such things 
seem very much against us ; yet who can tell how they 
^ Life of Morrison, vol. i. p. 408. 

41 6 ROBERT MORRISON: 1807-1834 

may finally operate ? Let us persevere, and look to 
Heaven for a blessing.' 

In the course of i8i6 Morrison accompanied, as inter- 
preter, Lord Amherst on his abortive mission to Peking. 
Morrison's records of this journey are all full of informa- 
tion, and, in the light of China's later history, of deej:) 
interest. We have space but for one or two extracts. In 
the account of the journey which he sent home to 
Dr. Eurder he thus describes the paganism of China : — 

'The general principles of our religion give a tone of 
elevation and dignity to the human mind which is not felt 
here. Associating at stated periods for worship, and to 
receive religious instruction, when the infinite greatness 
of the Deity is continually held up to the view of princes, 
nobles, and people ; and the idea often suggested that all 
earthly distinctions are comparatively nothings and will 
soon terminate ; this moderates the tendency to domination 
to which the human mind in prosperous circumstances, 
and elevated situations, is always prone ; and at the same 
time, without interfering with the good order of society, 
raises to a manly feeling the hearts of the poorest and most 
abject. The people of this country never meet under 
similar circumstances. They do not associate under some- 
thing approaching equality for the worship of their gods. 
The priests never preach nor teach orally. They occa- 
sionally inculcate piety to the gods, and the practice of 
morality, by means of the press. I am now writing 
to you from a temple in which are upwards of loo priests, 
and as many idols. About fifty priests worship, with 
morning and evening prayers, which occupy nearly forty 
minutes, images of Euddah. There are three images 
placed on a line; before these the priests burn tapers, 
offer incense, and recite prayers, sometimes kneeling and 
repeating over and over again the same invocation ; and 
sometimes putting the forehead to the ground, in token of 
adoration, submission, and supplication. Day after day, 
and }^ear after year, this is gone through ; but they never 
associate the people of every rank and age, to deliver 


instructions to them. Indeed they are not qualified. 
They are generally illiterate and uninstructed themselves. 
They are the mere performers of ceremonies, and should 
never be denominated by the same name that is applied 
to ministers of the Christian religion. The multitudes of 
people in this country are truly, in a moral and religious 
view, as " sheep without a shepherd." 

' Without referring to the peculiar and important doctrines 
of Christianity, but speaking merely of its general aspect 
in Protestant countries, with the qualifications and duties of 
its ministers, in the public assemblies of the people, how 
vastly superior to the system of Paganism which prevails 
here! The contrast struck me very forcibly during divine 
service in this very temple, as performed by the chaplain 
of the embassy. We have heard much here about sitting 
or not sitting, in the presence of great men. The Chinese 
carry their objections to a ridiculous length to persons 
sitting, who are, in rank, a certain degree inferior to them- 
selves ; and on no occasions, religious or ceremonial, do 
superiors dispense with this usage. Hence, when looking 
round the congregation during the sermon, and seeing 
P^nglish noblemen, gentlemen of inferior titles, officers in 
his Majesty's service, merchants, soldiers, and servants, all 
sitting in the same room, and listening to the same instruc- 
tion, the idea I mentioned above, of the general administra- 
tion of the Christian religion being so very far superior, 
occurred with the greater force. 

' The labouring poor in every country who cannot read 
might at first sight be supposed to be nearly on a level. 
But our Sabbath, and public assemblies for social worship, 
and oral instruction in the duties of men to God and to 
each other, place our poor in much more favourable circum- 
stances than in this country. When the poor do not avail 
themselves of the advantages within their reach, as is too 
often the case, the beneficial effects of course will not 

' The middle and higher classes also, who have money 
to spend, and whose time is not wholly occupied in pro- 

II. E e 

4i8 ROBERT MORRISOX : 1S07-1S34 

vidins^ the means of subsistence, arc placed in much more 
favourable circumstances than people of the same descrip- 
tion in this country. There is more intellectual occupation 
within their reach. The free discussion of questions con- 
nected with the welfare of the country, the affairs of 
benevolent, literary, and scientific societies, even the 
newspapers and monthly journals, all tend, less or more, 
to employ, to exercise, and to strengthen, the intellectual 
powers. Here, all discussion of the measures of govern- 
ment being entirely disallowed ; all associations of the 
people for any purpose whatever being discouraged : and 
no interest taken in the acquirement of science, or of 
a knowledge of the general affairs of mankind ; people 
possessing property or leisure want occupation, and become 
commonly (I would not say always) either idle smokers of 
opium, or slaves to sensual pleasure in its most debasing 
forms. Still, there are degrees of public indecency, which 
have existed and do exist in other countries, which are 
entirely unknown in China. Indelicacy has no place in 
their religion, as was the case in ancient Greece and Rome ; 
nor are unhappy females suffered by the government to 
walk die streets of towns, as is the case in our country.' 

The embassy failed to achieve even so much as an inter- 
view with the emperor, on the one hand, because Lord 
Amherst refused to appear, as summoned, the moment he 
arrived, and because on a later occasion he refused to 
make certain salutations which he considered derogatory' 
to an ambassador of the King of England. The Chinese, 
on the other hand, ver}- imperfectly apprehended either 
the power behind the ambassador, or the motives which 
had led to his visit. The ' Letter from the Emperor of 
China to the King of England." written after Lord 
Amherst's return, is an amusing document ^. important now 
only as a forcible illustration of the ignorant haughtiness 
towards foreigners which led speedily to the destruction 
of those barriers which for centuries had walled China in 
from the influences of the Western world. The document 

' See Li/e of Morrison, vol. i. pp. 4 58-46 j. 


opens, ' The supreme potentate, who has received from 
heaven and revolving nature, the government of the world, 
issues an imperial mandate to the King of England, with 
which let him be thoroughly acquainted.' 

One letter goes on to state that the ambassador ' would 
not be obedient to the prescribed ceremonies.' and in the 
next sentence calls him ' a petty officer from a remote 
country.' It gives a truly Chinese account of what 
happened, states that the Chinese do not look upon the 
choicest Western productions ' as rare pearls,' and closes 
in the following remarkable manner : — 

' That you, O King, should preserve your people in 
peace, and be attentive to strengthen the limits of your 
territory, that no separation of that which is distant, from 
that which is near, should take place, is what I the Emperor 
in reality, highly commend. Hereafter there is no occasion 
for you to send an Ambassador so far, to be at the trouble 
of passing over mountains and crossing seas. If you can 
but pour out the heart in dutiful obedience, it is not neces- 
sary to come at stated times to court, ere it be pronounced 
that you turn towards the transforming influences which 
emanate from this land. This Imperial mandate is given 
that you ma}' for ever obey it.' 

On September 4. 181 7, Morrison drew up a Ten Years' 
Review of the China Mission in the form of a letter 
addressed to Dr. Burder : — 

' Ten years have this day elapsed since I first landed on 
these shores. To carry into effect the objects of the 
Missionary Society (which were at the same time objects 
dear to my own heart) I left my native land. God has 
been gracious to us ; He has borne with our infirmities ; 
He has granted us in part the wish of our hearts ; and 
blessed be His holy name. 

' You can remember the deep interest which the excellent 
Mr. Hardcastle took in the objects of the mission. I believe 
that to him it owed its origin. I remember also the devoted 
zeal of Mr. Re)-ner ^ You know that at that period our 

* Treasurer of the Religious Tract Society. 
E e 2 

420 ROBERT MORRISON : 1S07-1S34 

difficulties were many, and our prospects very limited. 
I am afraid that many of our friends think but little has 
been done ; and it must be acknowledged that our progress 
has been but small. But we should remember what werp 
the obstacles which stood in our way ; and what was the 
amount of our immediate hopes ; that we may be duly 
grateful to God, who has granted us even more than wc 
then anticipated. Our knowledge of China was very limited 
— our hopes of a residence small — our interest nothing. To 
learn the language, and by degrees render the Sacred Scrip- 
tures into Chinese, was the object which we immediately 
contemplated. Your mission to China now possesses con- 
siderable knowledge of the country, the character of the 
people, and the language. It is furnished with instruments 
with which to begin the more spiritual part of its labours. 
The New Testament is rendered into Chinese, has been in 
part put into circulation, and will, we trust, produce salutary 
effects — for the " word of the Lord shall not return to Him 

' My colleague, Mr. Milne, has been here, with his whole 
family, for some time. His health, as well as that of 
Mrs. Milne, has been improved in some degree. They 
purpose leaving this place in January next. Mr. Milne 
came to Canton, not only on account of his health, but also 
to attend some affairs of the mission, and to look over with 
me his translation of Deuteronomy and the Book of Joshua. 
These, together with the Psalms, will be put to press at 
Malacca, in the course of 1818, should God in mercy grant 
to my brother life and health. Our lives are in His hand, 
and my days may be shorter than those of my esteemed 
fellow-labourer ; but appearances are against him — his lungs 
are weak, and he is greatly emaciated. We have divided 
the remaining parts of the Old Testament between us, and 
purpose, if possible, to finish the whole in 1818. Mr. Med- 
hurst has sent up a specimen of small metal types, intended 
for the magazine and tracts, which is very promising.' 

Morrison's literary toil was unabated. In the course of 
1817 he published his Horae Sinicae, a Chinese Primer, 


and a parallel between his own and Dr. Montucci's Dic- 
tionary, and all this in addition to his Bible translation 
work : — 

' The i^i,ooo now drawn is in reserve for the current 
expenses of the ensuing year, iSiH, during which Mr. 
Milne and I hope to finish a translation of the whole 
Bible. He has completed Deuteronomy and Joshua. The 
Book of Genesis has been printed some time. I have 
made a first draught of the Book of Exodus, and the Book 
of Ruth. The Psalms I have finished, and they are now 
in the press. The Book of Isaiah is now about one-half 
translated. Several type-cutters are engaged to go down 
to Malacca, for the purpose of printing Deuteronomy, 
Joshua, and an edition of the Psalms in duodecimo ; that 
which I am perfecting here, is smaller than our duodecimo 
New Testament. Mr. Milne embraces every opportunity 
to distribute these parts of the Scriptures, which we have 
already published. It is not easy for us to trace their effects 
— but there is an eye, from which no secret is hid,' 

By this time European scholars had begun to realize 
Morrison's achievements in Chinese, and to correspond 
with him on points of special difficulty and importance. 
In 1817 the University of Glasgow recognized Morrison's 
extraordinary services to theological literature and Biblical 
philology by conferring upon him the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity. Milne's health led him to revisit Macao, and for 
some time the friends were together again. During this 
period of fellowship they drew up the regulations for the 
Ultra-Ganges Mission, which were afterwards the guiding 
principles of the station at Malacca ^ So deeply 
interested was Morrison in this scheme that he gave i^j,ooo 
towards the building, and ^ico a year for five years 
towards the carrying on of the work there. The General 
Plan was from his pen ^. 

* For these, see Memoirs of the /.i/e and Labours of Robert Alorrison, vol. i. 

PP- 503-509- 

'^ For the interesting details of this Plan, see Life, vol. i. pp. 512-515 ; 
also p. 539. 

422 ROBERT MORRISON : lS0?~lS3i 

His life at this period was one of incessant labour, and 
of great loneliness for the Master's sake : — 

' I have become much of a recluse. I very rarely go to 
the Company's, or anywhere else, to dine. I have the 
same dish week after week — Ij'ish steio and dried roots — 
which I eat with Chinese chop-sticks. I am well as usual, 
and writing from seven in the morning till nine or ten at 

' I am called to suffer affliction, as you know, in the 
absence of my family from me for so long a period. I am 
sometimes deeply grieved. The Society says I should go 
home ; but I cannot in common prudence leave my station 
at this period. I should like much to visit Europe, and to 
run to the solace of my afflicted wife and infant children, 
but wishes, and the lesser duties, must give way to the 

On November 25, 1819, Morrison was able to send the 
Directors the joyous tidings that his great translation was, 
after twelve years' labour, completed. Milne had trans- 
lated Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and i Samuel to Job, 
inclusive. All the rest of the Old Testament was Morrison's 
work. The four Gospels, and Hebrews to Revelation, 
inclusive, were also his work : — 

' The other books of the New Testament I edited, with 
such alterations as, in my conscience, and with the degree 
of knowledge of the Chinese language which I then pos- 
sessed, I thought necessary. I added the verses according 
to the English Testament, in a form which had not been 
devised in Chinese before, and which, without breaking the 
text into parts, answers well the purpose of reference. 
I always stated explicitly to you that the Chinese MS. in 
the British Museum, a copy of which under the Missionary 
Society's care I procured, was the foundation of the New 
Testament in Chinese, which I completed and edited. 

' The first volume, viz. the Acts of the Apostles, which 
I printed as an essay of what could be done, from the 
above-named MS., written by some pious missionary of 
the Romish Church, was burnt by a native Roman Catholic 


of some education in this country, because he thought 
the translation mine, and heretical. Another person from 
England, who was acquainted in a degree Avith Chinese, 
and who supposed that the Testament was wholly mine, 
said it would have been desirable that the translation 
should have been done by a Roman Catholic missionary ; 
and a third person, in a different part of the world, has 
condemned me, because so much of the MS. remains. 
Had it been my wish to make the whole translation 
appear as originally my own, I could have altered much 
more, with as little trouble as I took to decide on retaining 
what I did ; but that was not my object, nor is it the object 
of your Society to enter into the question by whom the 
Bible is rendered into the languages of mankind, but in 
what manner, and to aid in publishing the best versions 
that can be procured. 

' When traduced, either by those who undervalue divine 
Revelation, and, " not daring to avow their principles, com- 
plain of the inaccuracy of translations," or " on the other 
side," by opinionated men who ''give liking to nothing 
but what is framed by themselves," I can " rest secure — 
supported within by the truth and innocency of a good 
conscience, having in this work walked in the ways of 
simplicity and integrity, as before the Lord '." 

' If Morrison and Milne's Bible shall, in China, at some 
subsequent period, hold such a place in reference to a better 
translation, as Wickliff"s or Tyndale's now hold in reference 
to our present English version, many will for ever bless 
God for the attempt ; and neither the Missionary Society, 
nor the Bible Society, will ever regret the funds they have, 
or shall yet expend, in aid of the object.' 

In August, 1820, Dr. Morrison welcomed back his wife 
and children after an absence of nearly six years. He 
spent only a few weeks with them, and then had to take up 
his Canton duties. During 1821 and 1822 Morrison was 
much occupied, in correspondence with Dr. Milne, with the 
affairs of the Anglo-Chinese College. But in June, 1821, 

' Life, vol. ii. p. 3. 


Mrs. Morrison died after a very brief illness, and Dr. 
Morrison was left desolate indeed. Early in 1822 his son 
and daughter were sent to England. In June, 1822, 
another great grief fell upon him in the death of his 
colleague Milne. In consequence of this event, in January, 
1823, Morrison visited Malacca, and on his return decided 
to visit England. Prior to leaving Macao he dedicated 
Leang A-fa, who had been a Christian for eight years 
to the work of an evangelist, and entrusted to his care the 
affairs of the mission. Dr. Morrison reached England in 
March, 1824, after an absence of nearly seventeen years. 
His return aroused very deep interest in all missionary 
circles, and the two years he spent at home were very busy 
in travels, speeches, interviews, and efforts of various kinds 
for the development of Christian work in China. Among 
other efforts he established a Language Institution, in which 
intending missionaries might study oriental languages, 
but though started under good patronage, and affording 
evidence of much usefulness, it continued in existence only 
a few years. 

Morrison sailed for China May 1, 1826, and during the 
voyage was instrumental in avoiding a mutiny by his 
reasonings with, and influence over, the crew. He landed 
at Macao, September 19. Morrisons position in China 
had always been difficult, but the closing years of his life 
were troubled by the fact that the new officials of the East 
India Company which the lapse of years necessarily brought 
were less kindly to him personally, and less favourably 
disposed to missionary work than some of their predecessors. 
It was the epoch, too, when fear lest trade relations might 
he disturbed led naval officials. East India officials, and 
merchants to submit, in a way which at times aroused 
Morrison's indignation, to restrictions and insults of a kind 
which at length led to war between Great Britain and 
China. Even the highest British officials were thus 
treated by the Cantonese. Dr. Morrison noted at this 
time : — 

' It is astonishing to me how the bearer of dispatches 


from the highest authority in India can pass over in the 
careless manner which is done such inhospitahty and 
rudeness. There is an utter want of pubhc spirit and 
feeling for national honour, as it appears to me. I resolve 
often to hold my peace concerning the question in dispute, 
between the English and Chinese ; but the cz/^//- British, 
and low sentiments — as I think them — which I sometimes 
hear, provoke me to speak: His Majesty's navy neither 
feel nor care about British subjects in China ; and these 
ships of war are not respected, nor better treated, by the 
Chinese than the Lintin smugglers.' 

At the same time none better than he could judge the 
vast progress which had been made in the way of prepara- 
tion for future missionary work. 

'There is now in Canton a state of society, in respect 
of Chinese, totally different from what I found it in 1807. 
Chinese scholars, Missionary students, English presses, and 
Chinese Scriptures, with public worship of God, have all 
grown up since that period. I have served my generation, 
and must — the Lord knows when — fall asleep.' 

In 1832 Dr. Morrison drew up the following sketch 
of the first twenty-five years of the mission : — 

' Twenty-five years have this day elapsed, since the first 
Protestant Missionary arrived in China, alone, and in the 
midst of perfect strangers, — with but few friends, and with 
many foes. Divine Providence, however, prepared a quiet 
residence for him ; and, by the help of God, he has con- 
tinued to the present time, and can now rejoice in what 
God has wrought. The Chinese language was at first 
thought an almost insurmountable difficulty. That difficulty 
has been overcome. The language has been acquired, and 
various facilities provided for its further acquisition. Dic- 
tionaries, grammars, vocabularies, and translations have 
been penned and printed. Chinese scholars have increased, 
both at home and abroad, both for secular and religious 
purposes. It is not likely that Chinese will ever again be 
abandoned. The holy Scriptures in China, by Morrison and 
Milne, together with Religious Tracts, Prayer-books, &c., 

426 ROBERT MORRISON: 1807-1834 

have been published ; and now, thanks be to God, Mis- 
sionaries from other nations have come to aid in their 
distribution and explanation. The London Missionary 
Society's Chinese press, at the Anglo-Chinese College. 
Malacca, and Mr. Medhurst's at Java, have sent forth 
millions of pages, containing the truths of the everlasting 
Gospel ; and that Institution has given a Christian 
education to scores of native youths. There are also 
native Chinese, who preach Christ's Gospel, and teach 
from house to house. 

' The establishment of English presses in China, both 
for the diffusion of general knowledge, and for religious 
purposes, arose out of the Protestant Mission. The Hon. 
East India Company's press, to print Dr. Morrison's 
Dictionary, was the first ; and now, both English and 
Americans endeavour, by the press, to draw attention 
to China, and give information concerning it and the 
surrounding nations. The Indo-Chinese Gleaner, at Ma- 
lacca — the Canton newspapers — and the Chinese Reposi- 
tory — have all risen up since our Mission commenced. 
Missionary voyages have been performed, and the Chinese 
sought out at various places, under European control, in 
the ArchipelagOj as well as in Siam, at the Loochoo 
Islands, at Corea, and along the coast of China itself, up 
to the very walls of Peking. Some tracts, written by 
Protestant Missionaries have reached, and been read by, 
the emperor himself. 

' The persons at present connected with the London 
Missionary Society's Chinese Mission are : — 

' Robert Morrison, D.D. ; Walter Henry Medhurst, on 
Java; Samuel Kidd, Java, sick, in England ; Jacob Tomlin. 
at the Anglo-Chinese College, Malacca ; and Samuel Dyer, 
at Penang ; Leang-Afa, native teacher ; Kew-Agang, as- 
sistant to Leang-Afa, and lithographic printer; and Le-Asin, 
assistant to Leang-Afa. 

' Only ten persons have been baptized, of whom the 
three above named are part. The two first owed their 
religious impressions to the late Dr. Milne, at the Anglo- 


Chinese College, where they were printers. Another was 
a student, and is still retained in the College.' 

At the close of J 833 Mrs. Morrison and her children 
were compelled by ill health to return to England. The 
East India Company's charter had lapsed, and Dr. Mor- 
rison's post was abolished. But he was appointed Govern- 
ment translator under Lord Napier, and thus anxieties 
on pecuniary grounds were removed. During 1H33 trouble 
had also arisen through Roman Catholic influence, and the 
press work was suppressed for a time. Morrison had, how- 
ever, been greatly cheered and sustained by E. C. Bridgman, 
a missionary of the American Board, who had been sent 
out to carry on the work in Macao. On Jul}' 15, 1834, 
Lord Napier landed at Macao. On the i6th a meeting of 
all the Factory officials was held, and at this the various 
appointments were announced. Morrison wrote : — 

" I am to be styled " Chinese Secretary and Interpreter." 
and to have ;^i, 300 ayear, without any allowances whatever 
— for domine, or house-rent, or anything else. I am to wear 
a vice-consul's coat, with king's buttons, when I can get one! 
Government will pay one hundred dollars per month to 
the College, instead of the Company. His Lordship asked 
whether I accepted of the appointment or not. I told him 
at once, that I did. Pray for me, that I may be faithful to 
my blessed Saviour in the new place I have to occupy. It 
is rather an anomalous one for a missionary. A vice- 
consul's uniform instead of the preaching gown ! People 
congratulate me. They view it, I believe, as a provision for 
my family, and in that sense congratulate me. But man. 
at his best estate, is altogether vanity.' 

Lord Napier removed almost immediately to Canton. 
Dr. Morrison accompanied him, but was seized with serious 
illness, and died there on August i, 1834. Thus closed the 
arduous useful life of China's pioneer missionary. He had 
laboured for twenty-seven years in the face of almost every 
discouragement short of violent expulsion from the country. 
He had accomplished, almost single-handed, three great 
tasks — the Chinese Dictionary, the establishment of the 


Anglo- Chinese College at Malacca, and the translation of 
the Holy Scriptures into the book-language of China. 
A stormy seven years followed his death, and then the ever- 
increasing number of the workers and ever-widening stream 
of Christian influence began to flow into that vast land, 
•jjopulated by over three hundred millions of heathen. 

[Authorities. — Letters, Juuruals. nml Ufficial Reports; Memoirs of the. 
i.ifi and Labours of Robert Moirison, l>y his Widow, 2 vols. London. 1839. J 



During the years i (SocS to 1H42 it was impossible for 
missionaries to gain a footing in China itself, and to enjoy 
there any liberty for preaching and for Christian work. 
As we have seen, the refusal of the Chinese authorities 
to permit Milne to reside in either Macao or Canton led 
Morrison to originate what came to be known as the 
Ultra- Ganges Mission. The plan was to choose places 
frequented by Chinese, as near to China as possible, 
and make the work there carried on a base for successful 
work in China when the time should come, as Morrison 
firmly believed it would, for China to be thrown open to 
the Gospel. Malacca was chosen, and Milne settled there 
in 1H15, as the head quarters of the mission, and the other 
stations were Amboyna for a time, Batavia, Penang, and 

I. Malacca. William Milne, to whom there has neces- 
sarily been frequent reference in the previous chapter, was 
a colleague after Morrisons heart, and the friendship which 
developed between them was very loving and helpful in its 
influence upon both of these ardent and able missionaries, 
Milne was an Aberdeen man, and was born in 1785. He 
became a member of the church at Huntly in 1804. 
After he had offered himself to the Society, he, like Morri- 
son, was sent to Dr. Bogue at Gosport, and in 1812 he was 


appointed to China. He reached Macao July 4, 1813, and 
we have narrated the events which led Morrison to suggest, 
and Mihie to acquiesce in, removal to Malacca. 

Milne was a man of unusual gifts, of great force of char- 
acter, and of an intense spirituality. During the voyage 
out he pondered long and deeply the question, ' What 
ought I to know of the Chinese to teach them Christ and 
His salvation ? ' He drew up a list of twenty-one questions 
relative to their religion and manners', and over these he 
constantly prayed and meditated. He also drew up three 
rules for the guidance of his studies : — 

' 1. Never to spend time in seeking to know that which 
cannot be known by the utmost labour in this life ; and 
which, in half an hour, may be fully known in eternity. 

' 2. Never to spend time in seeking for that which, when 
attained, cannot serve the interests of rational beings and 
the glory of God. 

' 3. Whatever knowledge or talent is attained, let it 
be devoted to the service of God and the interest of the 
Gospel •^.' 

To the acquisition of Chinese he gave the whole strength 
of his mind, and he thus describes the phenomenal pro- 
gress which he was enabled to make in this difficult duty: — 

' I resolved that, in as far as it should please God to give 
me bodily health, I would labour to the utmost of my strength, 
and not be discouraged if my progress should be very slow. 
I had the aid of Dr. Morrison's writings on the Chinese 
language, of his experience acquired through a period of 
six years, and hoped to enjoy his personal instructions for 
a considerable time. But, on the second or third day after 
I began, a verbal order was sent from the (then) Portuguese 
Governor of Macao, commanding me to leave the settle- 
ment in eight days ; which was shortly after followed by 
another message, ordering me to go on board a vessel that 
was then going out of port. 

■ I accordingly left Macao on the 20th July (Mrs. Milne 

' Life and Opinions of Rev. William Milne, D.D., by Robert Philip, p. 99. 
* Life of Milne, p. 103. 


being- allowed to remain with our friends), and went in 
a small boat to Canton, where I remained the ensuing 
season ; enjoying that hospitality among the heathen, 
which had been denied in a Christian colony ! 

' For some time I continued labouring at the language in 
Canton, with but little assistance, till Dr. Morrison came up 
with the factory, when I enjoyed the benefits of his tuition 
for about three months. Not considering myself a com- 
petent judge of the methods proper for acquiring the 
singular and difficult language of China, I resigned myself 
entirely to his direction ; a measure which I have ever had 
the highest cause to be satisfied with. He suggested the 
importance of laying aside for a time almost every other 
study, and spending the whole strength of body and mind 
in one pursuit, viz. that of the language. The whole day, 
from morning till late at night, was accordingly employed 
in Chinese studies.' 

By these methods Milne made rapid progress, even 
though in 1814 he wrote : — 

' To acquire the Chinese is a work for men with bodies of 
brass, lungs of steel, heads of oak, hands of spring-steel, 
eyes of eagles, hearts of apostles, memories of angels, and 
lives of Methuselah ! Still, I make a little progress. 
I hope, if not to be master, yet to gain as much as will suit 
the purposes of a missionary.' 

It had long been plain to Morrison that little or no direct 
evangelistic work could be done in China while the con- 
ditions under which he and other foreigners were tolerated 
there remained unaltered. Consequently the conviction 
grew in his mind that a station frequented by Chinese and 
as near as possible to China should be found, and a strong 
mission established there. Milne's voyage of discovery is 
described on p. 413. Upon his return Milne and Morrison 
were together for some time at Canton, and there, in 1815, 
greatly aided by Morrison, Milne printed a Life of Christ 
in Chinese. Soon after this was completed the resolution 
to begin the new mission was acted upon. T. S. Raffles, 
the Governor, and other influential residents in Java were 


so friendly to the enterprise that at first Batavia was con- 
templated as the permanent centre : but finally Malacca 
was chosen ', because it was in readier communication with 
other parts, and was a healthier site. When Milne reached 
Malacca he found the Dutch church there without a pastor. 
He declined their urgent invitation to accept the pastorate, 
but he agreed, until their new minister came, to preach to 
them once a week. For this service the Government granted 
a small salary, and in this way, as Milne considered it 
a duty to save the Directors every possible expense, he for 
two whole years maintained himself at Malacca without 
drawing upon the Society's funds at all. A school for 
Chinese children was opened August .5, 1815, and upon the 
same day the first number of a periodical in Chinese, called 
The Chinese Monthly Magazine, was issued. The general 
work of the mission followed these lines : — 

' In the first year of the mission, regular services were 
begun on the week days, and on the Sabbaths. Every 
morning the Chinese domestics, workmen, and scholars 
met for Christian worship. A portion of the New Testa- 
ment, or of such other books as had then been printed, 
was read, and short practical remarks made on it ; after 
which prayer was offered up. On Sabbaths, this mornin-; 
exercise was postponed till midday, in consequence of 
having to preach in the Dutch church at ten o'clock. At 
one o'clock, the Chinese Scriptures were read, and some- 
thing in form of an exhortation, longer than that usual on 
week days, was delivered. At half-past three, the scholars 
were examined and heard repeat their catechism. About 
five, Mr. Milne frequently spent an hour in town distributing 
tracts, or conversing with the heathen. At eight o'clock, 
the Scriptures were again read, remarks made on them, 
and a short prayer concluded the service. The number 
of hearers was always small — sometimes one, two, four, 
&c , from the neighbouring streets, joined the regular 
attendants, and twenty grown persons was the largest 
number that attended. Three, five, or eight were the 
* Fo: regulations, twelve in number, sec Life of Milne, p. 175 et seq. 


ordinary number of adult hearers. The others came 
occasionally; some from curiosity, some perhaps from 
a wish to be employed. When the curiosity of the former 
was satisfied, and the latter perceived that there was no 
worldly gain proposed to their view, they came but seldom. 
But from whatever motive they came, the preacher was 
always glad to see them, knowing that the heathen never 
attend to the Gospel at first from sincere attachment to the 

' In dispensing oral instruction to the few heathen that 
attended, Mr. Milne found the catechism and tracts, com- 
posed by his colleague, of great assistance. Written in 
a plain style, and free from the stiffness which generally 
adheres to translations, these tracts were easily understood 
by the heathen : and a page or two often furnished the 
ground of the exhortations addressed to them. He placed 
a copy before each individual, and went over the portion 
selected for the occasion, amplifying and enlarging where 
either his own small stock of Chinese words would admit, 
or where the subject required most illustration. 

' The variety of dialect that was found to prevail among 
the Chinese, constituted a great difficulty in the communica- 
tion of knowledge. The Fokien dialect was spoken by the 
greater part ; that of Canton, by a considerable number ; 
and the Mandarin or Court dialect, though understood by 
a few, was not generally spoken. The first, Mr. Milne had 
had no opportunity of learning ; the second, he could speak 
but imperfectly ; to the third, he had paid most attention. 
Thus, when going among the people, in one house the chief 
part of what was said was understood ; in the next, perhaps 
a half; and in a third, not more than a few sentences. In 
addressing a small company of fifteen or twenty persons, 
a knowledge of two dialects is in many instances necessary 
in order to impart instruction with effect to alP.' 

It was only natural that, whilst so much was being 
attempted on behalf of the Chinese, the claims of the Malay 
natives should not be overlooked, and in September, 1H15, 
' Life of Milne, pp. 200-206. 

II. F f 


Mr. C. H. Thomsen, who had been appointed specially for 
this work, reached Malacca. In 1H16, aided by the Govern- 
ment, suitable premises for the mission were obtained near 
the western gate of Malacca. 

On November 3, 1816, Milne baptized Leang A-fa, the 
Chinese printer. This convert deserves more than a passing 
notice, not only because he was the first baptized, but also 
because of his long and devoted service to the mission. 

' He belongs to the province of Canton, is a single man, 
about thirty-three years of age, and has no relatives living, 
except a father and brother. He can read a plain book 
with ease, but has had only a common education ; is of 
a steady character, and frugal habits. He came with me 
from Canton, in April, 1815, to Malacca. He told me the 
other day that he was employed in printing my Treatise on 
the Life of Christ. Whether he had been seriously 
impressed with the contents of that book, I am not able 
to say. 

' After continuing in Malacca four years, A-Fa returned 
to China to visit his family and friends, and when he saw 
them wholly given to idolatry his heart was moved to 
pity. He earnestly desired their conversion and their 
salvation ; and with a view to effect this purpose, he 
prepared a little tract, in which he embodied a few of the 
clearest and most important portions of Scripture respecting 
idolatry and the need of repentance and faith in Christ ; 
and having submitted the manuscript to Dr. Morrison, he 
engraved the blocks and printed two hundred copies, 
intending to circulate them among his acquaintance. But, 
unexpectedly, the policemen, having been informed of what 
he was doing, seized him and his books and blocks, and 
carried them all away to the public courts ; the books and 
blocks they destroyed, and A-Fa they shut up in prison. 
Irt that situation he began to review his past conduct, and 
the course he was attempting to pursue, in order to 
promulgate the doctrine of Christ among his countrymen. 
Though he was conscious of having done right in preparing 
his " little book," yet, at the same time, he was thoroughly 


convinced that it was on account of his sins that he was 
called to suffer persecution, and he viewed his imprisonment 
as a just chastisement inflicted by his heavenly Father, to 
whom he earnestly prayed for the pardon of his sins. 

' He had been only a few days in prison, when 
Dr. Morrison heard of it, and immediately interceded with 
influential native merchants, that they would endeavour to 
arrange with the officers of Government and procure his 
release. This, however, was not done until, by the order 
of the magistrate, he had received thirty blows with the 
large bamboo. This instrument of punishment is five and 
a half feet long, about two inches broad, and one inch 
and a quarter thick ; and so severely applied in the case 
of A-Fa, as to cause the blood to flow down from both 
of his legs. After they had thus beaten him and received 
a considerable sum of money, about seventy dollars, they 
set him at liberty. 

' The effect of this imprisonment and beating, which 
took place in Canton, was to make him more humble and 
more devoted to the cause of Christ. Soon after he was 
released from prison, he went to visit his family in the 
country, where he spent forty days. He then returned to 
Malacca, continued there for a year, and then came again 
to China to visit his family. He was especially interested 
in the spiritual welfare of his wife, and was exceedingly 
anxious for her conversion ; he read to her the Scriptures ; 
prayed with and for her ; and at length, by his instrumen- 
t2tlity, she was brought to believe in Jesus, and was baptized 
by her husband. " From that time," says A-Fa, '-we have 
been of one heart and one mind in worshipping and serving 
the one only living and true God, the Ruler and Governor 
of the universe, and in endeavouring to turn those around 
us from the service of dumb idols." 

' He became anxious also for the conversion of his 
countrymen, and desired to make them acquainted with 
that Gospel which he had found so precious to his own 
souL To prepare himself in some measure to effect that 
object, he went again, with the consent of his wife, to 

F f 2 


Malacca, where he was received and cherished as a brother 
by Dr. Milne. He resolved now to apply himself with new 
assiduity to his work, and especially to the study of the 

'Dr. Milne died in 1H22, and having no one at Malacca 
on whom he could depend, A- Fa returned once more to his 
famil}', all the members of which he found in health. 

' Still further to qualify himself to preach the Gospel, 
A-Fa continued his studies with Dr. Morrison for about 
two or three years, who then, having sufficient evidence of 
his qualification for an evangelist, " laid hands on me, and 
ordained me," he says, " to publish to men everywhere the 
true Gospel." ' 

In 1819 Mr. Medhurst arrived as Milne's colleague, and 
on March 20 of that year Mrs. Milne died. She was 
a woman of deep earnest piety, of an enthusiastic and 
devoted missionary spirit, and her loss was irreparable to 
her husband, and also a great blow to the mission. Dr. 
Milne, although his own health was fast failing, continued 
his manifold missionary labours with great energy and 
devotion. This spirit seemed to strengthen daily as his 
bodily strength decayed, and on June 2, i(S22, he passed 
away. He had been spared for only nine years' unremitting 
toil and hard experience. But in that period, brief as it 
was, he linked his name imperishably with the history of 
Christian influence in China. 

Prior to Milne's death several missionaries had been 
sent out to strengthen the Ultra-Ganges Mission. \V. H. 
Medhurst began his forty years' service in 1816, and 
reached Malacca in June, 1817. Sent out originally as 
a printer, he was ordained at Malacca in April, 1819. In 
January of that year he had visited Penang, to arrange for 
the opening of a station there. Early in 1822 he removed to 
Batavia. From the death of Milne in 1822 to the arrival of 
Legge in 1840 mission-work at Malacca was carried on by 
a succession of workers, none of whom achieved results of 
a striking nature. The various departments of work were 
steadily maintained. These embraced first and foremost 


a vast amount of press work — the production in Chinese 
and Malay of Scriptures and portions, books, leaflets and 
periodicals, and the circulation of these throughout the 
Straits Settlements and, as far as possible, in China. Then 
much time vv^as given to preaching in English, Chinese, and 
Malay, and visitation, and personal intercourse with the 
heathen. Much elementary educational work was also 
accomplished. In Malacca itself the succession of workers 
was: G. H. Huttman, printer, ICS20-1824; James 
Humphreys, 1821-1829; D. Collie, 1822-1828 ; S. Kidd, 
1824-1832; J. Tomlin, 1826-J832; S. Dyer, 1835-1843 ; 
J. Hughes, 1830-1836; John Evans, 1833-1840; and H. 
C. Werth, 1839-1 841. Humphreys, Collie, Kidd, and 
Evans all took an active share in the work of the Anglo- 
Chinese College. In 1843 the opening of the Chinese ports 
led to the establishment in Hong Kong of an Anglo- 
Chinese Theological Seminary, of which James Legge 
became Principal. This brought the college and the 
mission at Malacca to an end. The long-looked-for 
entrance into the great heathen empire had been opened, 
and the preparatory mission came to a close. 

2. Java and Amboyna. In 1814 the Directors decided 
to begin a mission in Java, which from 1811 to 181 8 was 
under British control. They did this under ' a strong desire 
to become the instruments of communicating to the inhabi- 
tants the blessings of the Gospel, especially as there are 
multitudes of Chinese resident there among whom, it is 
hoped, the Scriptures translated by Mr. Morrison may 
be freely circulated.' Joseph Kane, a native of Holland, 
and two Germans, Gottlob Bruckner and J. C. Supper, who 
had been educated by the Netherlands Society at Berlin 
and Rotterdam for service in India, were prevented from 
proceeding thither. They were sent over to London, 
were accepted by the Directors, sent for a time to Gosport, 
'greatly to their advantage,' and appointed in 18 13 to 
begin a mission at Batavia. They reached Batavia, March 
26, 1814. Bruckner became assistant to an aged minister 


at Samarang, and in i<Si6 became a Baptist and entered 
their service. Supper died in 1 8 1 6. Kane became minister of 
a Dutch church at Amboyna, and also did missionary work, 
especially in the circulation of the Scriptures and of Christian 
literature. In 1828 his name drops out of the records, and 
for some years prior to this he had received no financial 
aid from the Society. Mr. Slater was appointed to this 
mission in 1819, and settled at Batavia. In 1823 his heahh 
was so impaired that he had to leave the work in the hands 
of Mr. Medhurst, who had removed thither from Penanc^ in 
1821. Medhurst reached Batavia in January, 1822, and he 
left it to open the Shanghai Mission in 1843. During 
those twenty-one years he carried on a quiet, undemonstra- 
tive work among the Chinese and Malays in the great city 
of Batavia, at the same time perfecting those Chinese 
studies which in later years enabled him to render such 
good service in Bible translation. From 1828 to 18J.3 he 
was assisted by Mr. W. Young. In 1843 the Batavia 
Mission came to an end. 

3. Penang. Pulo Penang, or Prince of Wales' Island, 
had been early considered by Morrison and Milne a suit- 
able site for missionary labours. Two stations were 
opened in 1820 : one at James Town, under the care of 
Mr. Medhurst ; the other at George Town, under the care 
of Mr. Beighton and Mr. Ince. At the latter station 
a printing-office was established for the preparation of 
leaflets, tracts, and books in Malay and in English. Towards 
the end of 1821 Mr. Medhurst removed to Batavia in order 
to assist Mr. Slater in the work there. A chapel Avas 
opened in George Town in June, 1824, and in the same 
year Mr. Ince died. Mr. Beighton superintended the 
Penang Mission until his death in 1844. thus giving more 
than a quarter of a century's labour to work among the 
Malays. He made great use of the press, and translated 
the Pilgrim's Progress into the vernacular. He was assisted 
chiefly by S. Dyer, 1827-1835; Evan Davies, 1835-1839; 
and by Alexander Stronach, 1 839-1 844, in which year 


Mr. Beighton died and the Penang Mission came to 
an end. 

4. Singapore. This station was occupied in 1819 by 
Mr. Milton, who was much aided in the work of beginning 
the mission by Sir Stamford Raffles, Colonel Farquhar, 
and other residents. He was joined in 1823 by Mr. Thomsen, 
who came to supervise the work among the Malays. 
Mr. Tomlin reached Singapore in 1827, and in 1828 with 
Gutzlaff visited Bangkok with the view of establishing 
a mission in Siam. Ill health compelled his return in 1839. 
In 1831 the Directors appointed two missionaries, O. T. 
Dobbin and J. Paterson, to begin a regular mission in Siam, 
and in 1830 Mr. and Mrs. Gutzlaff had returned to Bangkok. 
But deaths in the Calcutta Mission so weakened the staff 
there that Messrs. Dobbin and Paterson had to relinquish 
the plan of going to Siam and go to North India instead. 
The project of a Siam Mission was never accomplished. 
Singapore was under the care of John Stronach from 
1838 to 1844. The Directors in 1840 appointed Mr. B. P. 
Keasberry Malay missionary at Singapore, but in 1847 the 
mission was closed. 

[Authorities. — Letters, Journals, and Official Reports ; A Retrospect of the 
First Ten Years of the Protestant Mission to China, now in connection with the 
Ultra-Ganges Mission, by William Milne, Malacca, 1820 ; The Life and 
Opinions of the Rev. William Milne, D.D., by Robert Philip, London, 1840.] 



We have already indicated the hatred manifested by the 
Chinese Government to all Western influences. A conflict 
between the power behind the East India Company and 
the Chinese State was only a matter of time. We have no 
space to trace fully the events that led to war between 
Great Britain and China, but some reference must be made 
to them. After Dr. Morrison's death in 1834, for some 
years the Directors found it impossible to establish a suc- 
cessor to him in Macao. Christian work was carried on by 
Leang A-fa, and by two other Chinese converts, Kew-A- 
gang or Kew A-gong, as he is usually named, and one 
other. Mr. J. R. Morrison, who held a civil appointment, 
did what he could to aid these men ; but a fierce persecution 
broke out, the circulation of Christian books was prohibited, 
the native agents were imprisoned, and for some years 
Leang A-fa had to reside at Malacca. 

During these years China and Great Britain were drifting 
into relations that could end only in warfare. There was 
arrogant ignorance on the one side, with a sublime con- 
tempt for everything ' barbarian ' ; on the other, an eye to 
self-interest through trade which for years brought about 
the patient endurance of restriction, insult, and intolerance, 
but at the same time prepared the way for the inevitable 
assault upon those barriers of ignorance and exclusiveness 
within which China was entrenched. In 1833 the charter of 
the East India Company was abolished, trade was thrown 
open to all British subjects, and a special officer was 

TREATY OF 1S41 441 

appointed to defend their rights and to try all cases afifect- 
ing them by the laws of Britain. This involved an assertion 
intolerable to the Chinaman, that his emperor and the 
Queen of England were equal sovereigns. It was with 
this issue that Lord Napier's mission was entrusted. He 
at once came into collision with the Viceroy of Canton, 
Lu, who ordered the merchants to cease trading with the 
British. This led to the Bogue forts firing upon two British 
frigates. Lord Napier died in Macao in October, 1^34. 

The new conditions of trade led to much conflict 
with Chinese officials, and also to an increase of opium 
smuggling. Early in 1H39 the Chinese Government, after a 
good deal of internal conflict, not on moral but on purely 
fiscal grounds, finally decided to suppress the opium trade. 
To carry out this decree, Admiral Lin was sent to Canton. 
He was an able man, and strong-willed, but haughty, 
supremely disdainful of all foreigners, and sure of his ability 
to settle matters along the line of Chinese wishes. The 
action of Lin, which appears to have been due to an honest 
desire to put an end to the detestable opium traffic, led the 
English community at length to leave Canton, and retire 
to Macao ; but, finding their presence was not acceptable 
to the Portuguese, they retired to Hong Kong. Lin 
ordered all British ships to leave China in three days or he 
would destroy them with fire ships. This led two English 
frigates to attack, and to utterly rout, a fleet of twenty-nine 

The British Government in 1840 sent seventeen men- 
of-war and 4,000 soldiers to China. These reached Hong 
Kong in June. Canton was blockaded, and Ting-hai, 
on the island of Chusan, occupied. A letter from Lord 
Palmerston was also sent to the Emperor of China. But 
negotiations dragged on, and finally on January 6, 1841, 
Captain Elliott sent an ultimatum to Ki-shen, the imperial 
commissioner, that unless matters were settled the next 
day he should fire upon the Bogue forts. This was done, 
and the forts seized. The Chinese at once proposed an 
armistice, and on January 20, 1841, the treaty of Chuen-pi 


was concluded, by which it was agreed that the large quan- 
tity of opium which had been seized by Lin should be paid 
for, that official intercourse between the English and Chinese 
should be conducted on equal terms, and that Canton 
should be opened for trade in February. But the emperor 
repudiated the treaty, war was resumed, and the British 
fleet forced its way to Canton. Warfare and negotiation 
alternated, and during 1841 Amoy and Ningpo were cap- 
tured ; and in 1(842 Wusung and Shanghai were taken. 
Nanking also was besieged, and finally in August. 1842, 
the Chinese came to terms. A treaty was signed, of which 
the chief conditions, so far as they affected missionary work, 
were the opening of Canton. Amoy, Fuchow, Ningpo, and 
Shanghai to Englishmen for trade and residence, they to be 
under British consular officers ; and the cession of Hong 
Kong. In 1844 the emperor issued a decree that Christianity 
should be tolerated throughout the empire, and that no 
person professing it should be molested in the exercise of 
his religion. These events could not fail to lead to an 
enormous development of missionary work in China, and to 
the consideration of that we now turn. 

In 1838 Mr. William Lockhart, F.R.C.S., was appointed 
as medical missionary to Canton. He found it impossible 
to establish himself there, so in March, 1839, he removed 
to Macao and opened a hospital there. But his stay 
was brief, for in August the Chinese authorities com- 
pelled all British residents to leave Macao. Dr. Lockhart 
went first to Batavia, and in June, 1840, returned to 
Macao. In December, 1839. Mr. W. C. Milne, M.A., 
son of Dr. Milne, and Dr. Benjamin Hobson, medical 
missionary, reached Macao. They took up residence, 
with Mr. Bridgman. the missionary of the American Board, 
at the hospital. When Dr. Lockhart returned to Macao, 
he and Dr. Hobson carried on the hospital work, and 
Mr. Milne removed to the Morrison Education Society's 
house, this being one of the institutions which Dr. Morrison 
had founded. A joint letter from the missionaries, dated 
August 31, 1840, gives a hopeful picture of missionary pros- 


pects at that time. It also gives the views of a capable 
body of men, who were at the centre of political disturbance, 
and who had gained some knowledge of the Chinese and 
of their language. These men judged the burning ques- 
tions of the hour, not from the standpoint of personal gain, 
political passion, or commercial greed, but from their in- 
fluence upon the great question how best the Gospel of 
salvation and love and peace could be made known to the 
millions of China. This gives their letter exceptional 
value : — 

'We entertain no doubt that the present aspect of affairs 
in this country is everywhere a subject of deep interest 
and concern. The events that have occurred, and are 
expected to occur, will necessarily affect a vast body of 
merchants and capitalists, the British revenue, the East 
India Company, and all directly or indirectly engaged in 
the trade of teas and other Eastern commodities. But the 
prosperity and welfare of China, its teeming population, 
and its extensive territory, are alike involved in the present 
movements and changes. To be insensible or indifferent 
to what is passing around at such a crisis, would display 
a most reprehensible apathy. 

' But so far from possessing this state of mind, we, as 
your representatives and agents, and especially as servants 
of the Most High God, have all our energies awake, and 
our minds intently occupied in watching, reflecting upon, 
and comparing, the varied and important changes that are 
taking place. And although we are labouring under many 
restrictions and inconveniences in our missionary pursuits, 
from the troubled scenes around us, we still feel thankful 
that we are on the spot, and in the field, to avail ourselves 
of any opportunities of usefulness that may be presented 
to us. We cannot but believe that God will, in His 
infinite mercy, overrule all these hostilities to the advance- 
ment of His kingdom and glory in this benighted land. 
We hail the commencement of better days, the appearing 
of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings ; 
we glory in the anticipation that God is about to reveal 


His blessed purposes, and to fulfil His promises concerninjj^ 
this empire. We cherish the soul-inspiring hope, that the 
prejudices, restrictions, and obstacles which have proved 
for ages such mighty barriers to missionary efforts, are 
about to be removed ; that its bondage is about to be 
exchanged for freedom, and its heathenism for a pure, 
enlightened Christianity. 

' We fervently hope and expect that the home Govern- 
ment is so convinced of the illegality and injustice of the 
opium trade, especially as conducted the last two or three 
years, as to be prepared and determined to discountenance 
and suppress it to the utmost of its power. We think that 
if this forms a part of their ofificial communications with 
the Chinese, the many existing differences will be more 
quickly adjusted than is anticipated. But if, instead of 
this, hard demands are made upon the Chinese for the 
entire indemnity of losses entailed on the foreign merchants, 
and if no guarantee is offered to co-operate with them in 
abolishing the odious traffic, no one can say when peace 
and amity will be again restored ; or what will be the 
consequence of such a line of proceeding. It is dreadful 
to think what might happen; for of all scourges and 
calamities that can befall any nation, none can exceed 
those which would follow a long course of determined 
warfare between Great Britain and China. 

' Our views of the opium trade we have already ex- 
pressed to you so frequently, that we feel it unnecessary 
to repeat them now. We need only observe, that the 
more we see and hear of its operation and effects, the more 
convinced we are of its exceeding injury both to the best 
interests of this people and nation, as well as to the whole 
foreign community. We deeply regret to state that, in 
spite of all that has been said against the opium trade, 
it is still carried on with as much vigour as at any 
previous time, according to the testimony of accredited 

* From the comparatively short time we have been in 
this country, our experience in missionary work is neces- 


sarily limited, and our data circumscribed. Our employ- 
ment at present is chiefly preparatory — all active missionary 
exertion being precluded by the disturbances that have 
arisen. Foreign relations here present a gloomy appear- 
ance, and probably will do so for some time ; yet the 
prospects and condition of the Chinese Protestant Mission 
are by no means disheartening, but upon the whole 
rather encouraging. We think so on the following 
grounds : — 

' 1st. From the number of Christian missionaries in the 
field ; five from the American Board ; three from the 
American Baptists ; four from the London Missionary 
Society; two of the Morrison Education Society; with 
Mr. and Mrs. Gutzlaff. and Mr. Stanton, who are not con- 
nected with any Society, making in all seventeen. Few 
and insignificant indeed, compared with the hosts they are 
seeking to operate upon, yet more than at any previous 

' 2ndly. From the experience and knowledge of the 
Chinese language which several of the missionary body have 
acquired, fitting them to commence full operations as soon 
as opportunity offers. 

' 3rdly. From the variety of means which tend to give 
efficiency and benefit to the mission. For example, the 
existence of a good printing establishment ; the preparation 
of elementary books for students in Chinese ; the posses- 
sion of many boxes of tracts and Bibles, ready to be 
distributed ; the education of Chinese youths according to 
the design of the Morrison Education Society, of which 
there are ten now under regular instruction, exclusive of 
some who receive instruction from members of the mission ; 
lastly, the operations of the Medical Missionary Society; 
all of which, with the blessing of God, will greatly con- 
tribute to the firm and successful establishment of this 

' 4thly. From the unanimity and brotherly feeling which 
subsists between the different members of the mission 
— a union which, we trust, will be strengthened and 


matured until we constantly feel and act as members of 
the same body, as one in Christ Jesus. 

' jthly. P"rom the prospect which is now opened of com- 
mencing a new mission in the Chusan Archipelago. 

' 6thly. From the improvements and increased facilities of 
doing good, which we naturally expect will result from 
British interference, in this as well as other parts of the 

' 7thly. From the growing interest and spirit of prayer, 
which we feel assured is experienced by all true Christians 
on behalf of China.' 

By an arrangement between the American and English 
missionaries in September, 1840, Dr. Lockhart visited the 
island of Chusan off the coast of China, a little south of 
Shanghai, then in possession of British troops, with the 
intention of establishing a medical mission there. On 
February 15, 1841, he wrote home : — 

' I have been endeavouring to carry on my work, as 
medical missionary, as extensively as possible, by attending 
to the relief of the numerous patients afflicted with various 
diseases, who have resorted to my house from every district 
of this island ; from Pooto, and the neighbouring islands ; 
from Chin-hae, Ningpo, and the other portions of the coast 
near this place ; to the amount, as by my register, of more 
than three thousand different persons ; thus affording me 
an opportunity, by the distribution of books and other 
means, of spreading over a wide extent the knowledge 
of the truth and I trust that the Lord will answer my 
prayers by granting that, through the instrumentality 
thus brought into exercise, some may be led to know 
and feel the blessedness of the Gospel, and that true 
happiness which only is found in the salvation wrought 
out for us by Christ. 

' Besides my daily attendance on those who come to my 
house, I have traversed on foot nearly the whole of this 
island, affording relief as far as I could to the sick I met 
with in the various villages, and distributing far and wide 
portions of the Scriptures, books, and tracts, to all who 


could read, and urging them to attend to the instructions 
contained therein. Ahnost daily I have gone alone, or 
with Mr. Gutzlaff, to the villages and hamlets within 
a circuit of some miles round the city, speaking to the 
people, and giving them books. Through these various 
channels several religious books of different sizes have 
been placed in the hands of the people, and in all instances 
they have been well received.' 

In consequence of the evacuation of Chusan by the 
British, on February 24 Dr. Lockhart returned to Macao. 
The political events referred to above, especially the 
opening of the ports and the edict of toleration, aroused 
the most profound attention among Christian people in 
Great Britain. The occasion of the conflict, the forcing 
of the opium traffic upon a nation apparently unwilling to 
receive it, with the knowledge of the deadly and debasing 
influence of the drug, rendered this aspect of affairs 
abhorrent to them. To this day (1899), Great Britain has 
to bear the reproach that as a Great Power she compelled 
China to continue the opium traffic when the Chinese 
Government were willing to suppress it ; and she has never, 
in her official capacity, since lifted a finger to check the 
monstrous evils which this trade brings in its train. But 
on looking at the other side — China at last open to 
missionary effort, Christianity to be tolerated all over 
the empire, more openings for Christian labour than there 
were workers to occupy — these things filled them with 
devout thankfulness. In the course of 1842 a Special 
Appeal on behalf of China was issued by the Directors, 
great meetings were held in many parts of the country, 
and large funds were raised for this great development 
of work. In view of these marvellous events the Board 
passed the following resolutions : — 

' I. That with feelings of ardent thankfulness to the God 
of all grace, the Directors of the London Missionary Society 
review the measures commenced by their honoured fathers, 
nearly forty years since, and prosecuted with undeviating 
constancy by their successors in office, for the introduction 


of the blessings of Christianity into the empire of China; — 
with recollections of hallowed pleasure they record the 
names and labours of Drs. Morrison and Milne, and their 
faithful coadjutors, who, amidst gigantic difficulties and 
discouragements, persevered to the end of their course in 
their work of faith and labour of love for the salvation of 
China ; — with devout satisfaction they contemplate the 
accomplishment of that mighty enterprise, devised and 
principally accomplished by the disinterested and inde- 
fatigable Morrison, — the translation of the Holy Scriptures 
into the language of the many millions of that idolatrous 
empire ; — nor can they fail justly to appreciate that invalu- 
able production of his persevering literary toil, the Chinese 
Dictionary, by which the future acquisition of that difficult 
language has been so greatly facilitated ; — and, finally, 
with peculiar pleasure the Directors reflect, that in the later 
years of the Society's operations (guided and stimulated 
by the example of their predecessors) the gratifying duty 
has been assigned to themselves of sending forth a goodly 
band of faithful missionaries, who, by laborious and per- 
severing application, are now qualified to make known to 
the Chinese, iji their ozvn tougjic, the wonderful works of 

' 2. That reviewing these protracted preparatory labours, 
sustained by humble hope and persevering prayer, the 
Directors cannot but invite the Church of Christ throughout 
the world, and the friends of the London Missionary Society 
in particular, to unite in grateful adoration to the God of 
Missions for the termination of war with China, and for 
the greatly enlarged facilities, secured by the Treaty of 
Peace, for the introduction of the multiplied advantages 
and spiritual blessings of Christianity into vast and popu- 
lous regions, sealed for past ages against the servants of 
the only true God, and for the bright prospects presented 
to our confidence, of the ultimate conversion of China to 
the faith of Christ. 

' 3. That, impelled by a sense of the additional obliga- 
tions thus imposed by the providence of God, the Directors 

Robert Morrison 
I ;\Uicao and Canton i 

Dr. I.Kc.nK 

iMuni;' K<in';i 

Dr. Lockiiart 


solemnly pledge themselves to employ all practicable means 
for increasing the strength and efficiency of their Chinese 
Missions, and for adding to the number of the labourers 
already in the field ; fully assured that such enlarged efforts 
will be sanctioned by the unanimous concurrence of the 
Society's friends, and generously sustained by their zeal, 
liberality, and prayers.' 

In the furtherance of this policy the Directors decided 
to remove the Anglo-Chinese College from Malacca to 
Hong Kong, to transfer the missionaries in the Straits 
Settlements' stations to China, and also largely to increase 
the staff of their China Mission. All the missionaries con- 
nected with the Ultra-Ganges Mission were requested, in 
December, 1842, to meet in Hong Kong and consult 
together with reference to the college, and the establish- 
ment of mission stations in Hong Kong and in the free 
ports. In August, 1 843, the following missionaries assembled 
at Hong Kong : Medhurst, Legge, Milne, Hobson, J. Stro- 
nach, A. Stronach, and S. Dyer. The Hon. J. R. Morrison 
was also present. It was decided that the Anglo-Chinese 
College should, in future, have as one of its departments 
a Theological Seminary for the training of native evan- 
gelists, and that Dr. Legge should remove to Hong Kong 
to superintend its work. Dr. Legge brought with him 
three Chinese assistants, A-Gong, Tsun-Sheen, and A-Sun. 
Leang A-fa also came to Hong Kong, Premises were 
obtained for a mission proper, and in addition to services 
in Chinese, an English service for the benefit of residents 
was established. A special building was erected for these 
services. Dr. Hobson had previously, in the month of May, 
established a medical mission. Mr. Milne in May, 1842, 
went to Chusan, and thence to Ningpo, where he spent 
several months. The conference further decided that 
Dr. Medhurst and Dr. Lockhart, with possibly Mr. Milne, 
should open a mission in Shanghai. The question of 
a thorough revision, or rather a new translation of the 
Chinese New Testament, and a translation of the Old 
Testament, in accordance with the New was considered, and 

II. Gg 


it was resolved to approach the Bible Society with a view to 
their carrying the great undertaking through. The printing- 
press from Singapore was removed to Hong Kong. By 
1850 the Chinese Mission was fairly established on its new 
lines, and stations at Hong Kong, Amoy, and Shanghai 
were all occupied, and in full work. 

[Authorities. — Letters, Journals, and Official Reports ; A History 0/ China, 
by John Macgovvan, London, 1897.] 


AND AMOY : 1845-1895 

The work done in the vast empire of China, in connection 
with the London Missionary Society, falls naturally under 
three great geographical divisions : Southern, Central, and 
Northern China. So enormous is the area covered by 
each of these divisions, so diverse are the provincial 
characteristics, and even languages, that there can be 
little co-operation and inter-communication between the 
workers in these three divisions. To present that bird's- 
eye view of what has been accomplished, and is being 
carried on at the end of the century, which is all that 
is possible here, it may be well to consider them in the 
order of their missionary occupation. And from this point 
of view. Southern China first claims our attention. 

' South China, as defined by the Chinese, comprises four 
of the eighteen provinces into which the empire is divided. 
These are Kwong Tung, Broad East ; Kwong Sai, Broad 
West ; Wan Nam, Cloudy South, i. e. south of the Cloud 
Mountains ; and Kwai Chau, Noble Region. The extent 
of territory known by this name may for purposes of 
comparison be stated thus : Kwong Tung and Kwong Sai 
together are about twice the size of England, Wan Nam 
is twice the size of England, and Kwai Chau twice the size 
of Scotland ^ 

' If the native census on which European authorities 
have based estimates of population be accepted. South 

' These names are given in Cantonese. 
G S 2 

452 SOUTHERN CHINA: 1845-1895 

China is inhabited by some thirty-six million people, or, 
in round numbers, one-tenth of the inhabitants of the 
empire belong to these four provinces. Of this number, 
more than one-half are found within the Kwong Tung 
border line. The magnificent water-way of the great 
West river is destined ere long to become a '• highway 
of the nations." It connects Kwong Tung with Kwong 
Sai, and Kwong Sai with Wan Nam, being navigable for 
large native house-boats as far as Pak Shek, on the Wan 
Nam border, 800 miles from Canton. In addition to the 
advantages offered by the West river, excellent facilities 
for travelling inland in an easterly direction for more than 
200 miles from Canton are afforded by the East river, and 
northward by the two branches of the North river, to the 
limits of the province, 300 miles from the capital. Kwong 
Tung and Kwong Sai are further intersected in many 
directions by navigable streams, and in what is known as 
the rice delta of Kwong Tung there is little short of 
a network of such channels. This is a circumstance 
favourable to the purpose which the Christian preacher 
or teacher has in view, seeing that it gives him ready and 
convenient access to the largest centres of population. To . 
the whole of South China the point of entrance for missions 
is Canton. At this point the main rivers converge, and the 
commanding position of this great emporium of commerce, 
as respects not Kwong Tung only, but also the neigh- 
bouring provinces, makes it a chief centre for most of the 
Protestant missionary societies having agencies in this part 
of the empire. 

'The Southern, as distinguished from the Northern 
Chinese, exhibit superior energy, enterprise, and business 
capacity. These qualities account for the presence in large 
numbers at the coast ports of Cantonese traders, and for 
the tide of emigration which has hitherto flowed steadily 
from the country round about Canton, in spite of restric- 
tive legislation in Australia and America. The Southern 
Chinese have long been notorious for hatred to foreigners 
and opposition to Christianity. This last remark is not, 


however, true of the Hakkas, who inhabit Poklo and the 
districts bordering on the upper reaches of the East river. 
These latter people exhibit marked peculiarities which 
distinguish them from the Puntis or Cantonese. 

' The Kwong Tung and Kwong Sai provinces have been 
for missionary purposes well explored. On the banks of 
the river population is concentrated ; there are compara- 
tively few places of importance not accessible by water. 
Missionaries and their associates avail themselves of the 
unrivalled facilities offered by the river boats. These 
craft are something more than the mere "houseboats," 
they are made to serve as travelling book depositories, 
as reception rooms for visitors, and as inquiry rooms for 
converts and adherents. Foreigners and their native 
assistants have lived in these boats for weeks, and even 
months, preaching regularly in the chief towns, and 
circulating widely portions of the Bible and Christian 
books. As a consequence the missionary and colporteur 
are now well known, and not unfrequently well received ; 
multitudes have been made acquainted with the leading 
facts of Christianity. An urgent need of this field is to 
maintain and further develop this admirable system of 
itinerancy. When visits are oft repeated friendly relations 
are established ; when Christian books and tracts are 
disposed of judiciously real interest in the Gospel is 
awakened ^.' 

We will now glance at the history of the three great 
mission centres of Southern China occupied by the 

1. Hong Kong. Hong Kong is unlike every other place 
in which the Society is carrying on missionary operations 
in China. The other stations are situated in the midst of 
vast districts of indefinite size and with dense populations 
around them on every hand. They are under Chinese 
rule, and are affected by all the influences for good or for 

' From a paper by W. T. Pearce, of Hong Kong, on ' The Work in .South 
China,' Founders' Week Conventtott Report, p. 261. 

454 SOUTHERN CHINA : 1845-1895 

evil which are operating in the Chinese Empire. Hong 
Kong has the advantage of being a British colony, and the 
population feels the presence of a large European elements 
The life of the natives under these circumstances is more 
free, and, owing to European influence, their ideas are 
liberalized ; and British rule affords a security for life and 
work which is of very great value. The settlement is on 
an island not a mile from the Chinese coast. The native 
population amounts to about 250,000, but the mmibcr 
seems to be constantly increasing. The sphere of mission 
operations is practically limited by the size of the island, 
although the Basel Missionary Societ}- is extending its 
work to a district on the mainland. The importance of the 
mission at Hong Kong is, however, not by any means to 
be estimated by the circumscribed area of its operations, 
nor by the comparatively limited number of people amongst 
whom the work is being carried on. Hong Kong is probably 
the most important centre of Western life in the Eastern seas. 
It is the first port of call, and the place through which all 
passengers from the West to all parts of China and Japan 
usually pass. It is also a centre from which Chinamen start 
on their emigration to foreign ports. The opportunities of 
usefulness, therefore, among a liberalized and constantly 
active native community are exceptionally great and 

The mission here was firmly established in working order 
by 1850. The staff in that year consisted of Dr. Legge, 
B. Kay, T. Gilfillan, and Mr. H. J. Hirschberg as medical 
missionary. Mr. W. Gillespie reached Hong Kong in itS44. 
With Dr. Hobson in i(S45 he made the unsuccessful attempt 
to establish a station at Canton. He visited England in 
1847, and returned to Hong Kong in 1849. but ceased to 
be connected with the Society in 1850. Mr. J. F. Cleland 
also reached Hong Kong in 1846, and there superintended 
the press, and preached in the English chapel ; but he also 
in 1850 left the mission. Dr. Hobson had charge of the 
hospital work at Hong Kong in 1843 ; but in 1848 removed 
to Canton, the station for which from the first he had been 


destined. There in the western suburbs he carried on 
medical missionary work, but no European was at that 
time allowed to enter the native city. He was succeeded 
in Hong Kong by Mr. H. J. Hirschberg, who took charge 
of the hospital from 1847 to 1853. Neither Mr. Kay nor 
Mr. Gilfillan was enabled to render any lengthy service ; 
the former retired to Sydney in 1849, and the latter returned 
to England in 1851. John Chalmers reached Hong Kong 
in 1852, and laboured there until 1859, superintending the 
press, and in Dr. Legge's absence carrying on the mission. 
In 1859 he removed to Canton. 

Mission work at each of the important stations in China 
presents similar features. Preaching to and evangelistic 
work among the Chinese, a chapel for English services, 
a hospital, educational work, and printing — these have been 
sustained at all. To set forth minutely the buildings opened, 
the sometimes rapid changes of staff, the manifold incidents 
of the fifty years' labour at these stations, would only weary 
the reader, even if it were practicable. So here, as else- 
where, we concentrate our attention upon main features of 
the work, and the leading personalities, whether generall}- 
known or unknown. 

It must be borne in mind that work in the British Colony 
of Hong Kong has been carried on under more favourable 
conditions in some respects than in Canton and Amo}'. 
But as the mission has always devoted its energies to the 
highest interests of the Chinese, what is true of it, is in the 
main, true of all. 

The Chinese School for Bo}'s, and the Seminary con- 
nected with it, were in the early years of the mission 
a main part of Dr. Legge's work. He continued the 
senior missionary in charge of Hong Kong until 1873. In 
1 86 1 he issued the first volume of his great work — the 
Chinese Classics, ultimately issued in seven volumes by 
Messrs. Triibner and Co. In 1870 the University of 
Aberdeen conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. From 
1870 to 1873 he was pastor of Union Chapel, and he 
finally returned to England in 1873. He had ceased to 

456 SOUTHERN CHINA: 1S45-1S95 

be supported from the Society's funds since 1867. Soon 
after his return to England he was appointed Professor 
of Chinese in the University of Oxford, an appointment 
which he held until his death in 1898. For many years 
Tsun -Sheen, the native pastor, was his rii^ht-hand man. 

Mr. Macgowan, at the time of Dr. Legge's death, thus 
referred to his work as a great Chinese scholar : — 

' His scholarly instincts, as well as his training at Aber- 
deen, had led him, in the course of his classical studies, to 
conceive the idea of mastering the Chinese classics. He 
was not content with being able simply to acquire the 
spoken language of the Chinese that crowded into the new 
colony ; he would study the written characters in which the 
books are printed, and thus he would be able to read for 
himself the writings of the ancient sages of China. Dr. Legge 
was a hard student. Specially favoured by nature with a 
splendid constitution, he could work longer hours and do 
with less sleep than most men. To the majority of students 
the study of Chinese has a fascination that only those who 
have engaged in it can understand. Soon it became to 
him an absorbing passion ; for as he pored over the words 
and thoughts of men that lived more than twenty centuries 
ago, he became dimly conscious that his life-work would, in 
some way or other, be intimately associated with them. 

' As his knowledge of the language grew, and his acquain- 
tance with the writings of Confucius and Mencius became 
more thorough, the purpose to translate these into English 
gradually fixed itself in his mind. There are two things 
that are absolutely essential to those who would understand 
the Chinese people, and these are, that they should study 
the sacred writings of China, and that they should read the 
standard history of the country as it has been written by 
native historians. 

' Dr. Legge determined that the first of these should be 
made possible by translating them into his own language, 
and thus bringing them within the reach of every English 
reader that cared to know about them. This was a splendid 
conception of his. The Chinese classics reveal the mind 


of China more than any other books that have ever been 
written in that great empire. They stand, in fact, in 
very much the same relation to the people of China as 
the Bible does to the English. They have had to do with 
the moulding and development of the Chinese character. 
From early times down to the present they have been the 
only school-books that could be tolerated in any school 
throughout the eighteen provinces. Every man that pro- 
fesses to be a scholar knows them off by heart, and even 
those whose education is most imperfect will assume an 
appearance of culture by quoting sentences that they have 
learned from them on all possible occasions. They are the 
royal road to distinction and honours in the State, for only 
the men that have got their degrees by passing examina- 
tions in them can hope for high official appointments. The 
thoughts and teachings of these books have so permeated 
society, that every man in China is a Confucianist first, no 
matter what else he may be after. Dr. Legge felt that, 
in translating them from the difficult and mysterious 
characters in which they were written into the language 
of the West, he would be benefiting the Chinese by letting 
the world know what kind of a people they were. This 
mighty task that he calmly set before himself he accom- 
plished with signal success. Only those who know Chinese 
can appreciate how thoroughly he has done his work. The 
writings of the men who have influenced more people than 
any other that we know of have been revealed by the 
industry and genius of this great scholar to the readers of 
all countries ; and though many passages in them lose their 
force and power by being put into a Western garb, we can 
never complain that the translator has failed to give an 
honest rendering of them from Chinese into English.^ 

The staff in 1H70, in addition to Dr. Legge and Tsun- 
Sheen, comprised F. S. Turner, B.A., who, after long ser- 
vice at Canton, laboured in Hong Kong from 1867 to 
1872. When he came to Hong Kong, Mr. Anderson of 
that mission took his place in Canton. Mr. E. J. Eitel, 
who left the Basel Mission and joined the London Mis- 

458 SOUTHERN CHINA: 1S45-1S95 

sionary Society in 1865, taking charge of Pok-lo, after- 
wards, in ](S72, relieved Mr. Turner in Hong Kong, and 
continued in charge there till 1879, when he became Govern- 
ment Inspector of Schools. 

In i8(So there were, in addition to Dr. Chalmers, 
J. C. Edge, Miss Rowe, and Miss Jackson. Mr. Edge 
reached Hong Kong in 1874, and laboured there until his 
death in 1886. Miss Rowe, who went out originally under 
the Wesleyan Missionary Society, to Canton, was accepted 
by the London Missionary Society and appointed to Hong 
Kong. There for the last twenty years, except for two 
health visits to England, and a little over a year at Chuk 
Yuen near Pok-lo, she has continued ever since. Miss Jack- 
son worked at Hong Kong from 1879 to 1882 when she 
became the wife of Mr. Arnold Foster, of Hankow. 

As a general description of Hong Kong work, we may 
quote the words of Mr. T. W. Pearce in 1895 : — 

' In this colony we have preaching-hall and hospital, 
church and school, Bible depot and industrial workshop. 
No agency exists on the mainland which has not its 
counterpart in Hong Kong. Facilities for education are 
granted by the Colonial Government ; the philanthropy of 
the foreign and native communities provides for mission 
hospitals ; whilst the resources of the native church support 
industrial mission effort. China cannot fail to learn from 
Hong Kong. The " transforming influences '' wrought by 
British enterprise constitute an instructive and impressive 
object lesson. To say that this lesson is lost is to deny to 
the people of South China certain of their most noteworthy 
and distinguishing characteristics. Let it be granted that 
the time has not come to apply this lesson of the past fift\' 
years, the old-time bondage of fifty centuries being not yet 
at an end. Hong Kong is in the meantime doing silentl}' 
and effectually its part in preparation for the new era. 
Each preaching-hall and hospital, church and school, Bible 
depot and industrial workshop, hastens the day of God's 
Kingdom on earth.' 

From the first medical missionary work has been one of 


the most highly developed fields of Chinese work. This 
has fallen for the most part under four heads : — 

'At Hong Kong the Society has two well-equipped 
hospitals, maintained entirely at local cost, where the 
medical missionary has, in addition to the assistance of 
Mrs. Stevens as missionary matron, the co-operation of 
a large staff composed of the local practitioners for purposes 
of the professional work and in the training of students. 
Mrs. Stevens has several native nurses in training, too, and 
hopes to develop this work. In 1894 things were much 
disturbed by the plague, but in 1893 the figures were 727 
in-patients and j 0,010 out-patients. 

' I. Itineration. — Itinerant missionar}- effort, through 
force of circumstances, usually precedes other methods until 
a suitable location for a dispensary or hospital has been 
acquired. As an adjunct to these latter it has an undoubted 
value, but is never regarded as either an exclusive or a 
principal method of medical evangelization. Only a small 
proportion of the cases reap much benefit from treatment 
based on a single examination, and nothing really serious, 
either surgical or medical, can be undertaken ; but it is 
a means whereby wide sowing of the seed of the Kingdom 
may be accomplished. 

' 2. The Dispensary. — In the dispensary, or the out- 
patient department of a hospital, the fixed location allows 
more solid work to be done, since patients may come again 
and again as often as may be necessary for treatment of 
their varying conditions, affording correspondingly repeated 
opportunities of pressing home to hearts the Gospel 
message. A wide door and effectual here stands open to 
God's Word. There is, indeed, much sowing, little reaping ; 
but not a few of the cases that come under notice and seem 
interested in the new teaching can be followed up by 
workers to their own homes, and in after days often comes 
the harvest. 

' 3. TJie Hospital. — But by common consent the most 
important and permanent results of medical missions are 
attained among in-patients in the hospital wards. That 

460 SOUTHERN CHINA: 1845-1895 

this should be so on the lower plane, when the patients arc 
under continuous observation, and details of treatment can 
be personally attended to by the missionary or his assistants, 
is self-evident ; and not less so is it on the higher level. 
The life being lived before the patients by the mission 
workers, the whole atmosphere of the mission hospital, 
and the abundant opportunity of instilling a knowledge 
of Jesus Christ that is afforded, all combine to render the 
work in the hospital one of the most fruitful of all 
missionary methods. 

'4. Training of Native Workers. — It is a distinctive 
feature of the London Missionary Society's work in all 
its departments that as soon as possible responsibility is 
passed on to the native converts ; and assistance, trained 
assistance, is not only an advantage but an absolute 
necessity in surgery. Medical missions have, therefore, 
from the first directed a considerable amount of attention 
to the preparation of trained helpers, and now in many 
regions a new race of medical missionaries is arising from 
the native churches themselves, equally well qualified to 
treat disease in its physical aspects, and better fitted, in 
some ways at least, to press forward the evangelization of 
those regions, since they can get into closer relations with 
their countrymen than is ever possible to a foreigner, no 
matter how complete his devotion to his work ^' 

In 1H83 Mr. R. Wardlaw Thompson visited all the chief 
China stations of the Society, and his report enables the 
reader to judge how the work stood there after between 
thirty and forty years' experience. 

' Our mission at Hong Kong has connected with it 
a large and important native Christian church, strong in 
numbers, strong also in the number of educated and 
influential men who are associated with it. I was very 
much surprised to find that this church had not long ago 
found a pastor and become entirely self-supporting ; and on 
inquiry I learned that the real difficulty was to secure 
a man of such education and position as to command the 

' Fotmders Week Convention Report, p. 274. 


respect, of all classes. The native Christian community 
has laboured for a long time under the great disadvantage 
of having no place of worship it could call its own. The 
Queen's Road Mission Chapel was wholly inadequate to 
the wants of the congregation. In consequence of the 
limited accommodation, the church meetings had to be 
divided, the men meeting at one time, and the women at 
another time. The Sunday afternoon services (in which 
the whole church unite) were conducted, by the kindness 
of the trustees of the Union Chapel, in that place of 
worship. This could not be a healthy state of things ; and 
the Directors have granted assistance in providing a suit- 
able house of prayer. Evangelistic work is being actively 
prosecuted, by the aid of members of the church, in several 
places on the island. At Taipingshan, in the west, and 
Wantsai, in the east end of the city, there are very neat 
and suitable chapels, and small congregations are assembled 
in two or three other places. 

' Special efforts are being made to reach the women 
of the congregation, and to work in the homes of the 
heathen Chinese. Miss Rowe superintends this part of the 
work with great earnestness and energy. There are two 
Bible-women, both very plain women without much educa- 
tion, whose duty it is to visit the heathen houses and to 
persuade the women to come out to a women's meeting 
which is held at Miss Rowe's house every Wednesday. 
There is also a female teacher, a woman of superior 
character and ability, who instructs the Bible-women and 
the teachers of the girls^ school ; the Scriptures being 
studied daily. Miss Rowe seems also usually to have one 
or two native women from the mainland residing in her 
house, for Christian instruction and training in work. 

' Educational work occupies a very prominent place in 
connection with the Hong Kong Mission. In fact, there 
are more schools connected with this mission than any 
other mission of the Society in China. Yet, on visiting 
these schools, I could not but be struck by one or two 
points of marked contrast with similar work in India ; and 

462 SOUTHERN CHINA: 1845-1895 

it may not be out of place to express here the feeling which 
impressed itself upon my mind as I prosecuted my journey 
throughout the Chinese Missions. I found in Hong Kong 
that education was given without charge. This appears to 
be due to the fact that the Government of the colony have 
established a system of free schools, so that it would be 
hopeless to expect to obtain scholars for mission schools if 
fees were demanded. As a grant-in-aid of a liberal amount 
is given to all schools conducted by the mission and satis- 
factorily meeting Government requirements, the cost of 
tuition does not fall upon the Society ; and, so far, no 
complaint can be made. It is, however, open to question 
whether such a system of universal free education is whole- 
some for the people. I found in" other mission stations 
that boys' schools in direct connection with the Society 
had been almost entirely given up, the reason assigned 
being that in most cases the native Christians were more 
ready to pay fees to a schoolmaster in a native school than 
to send their children to a school conducted or super- 
intended by foreigners, unless the education was given for 
nothing ; and the missionaries had wisely concluded that it 
was not desirable to encourage among converts the expecta- 
tion that the Foreign Missionary Society would make 
provision of this kind. 

' The point which impressed me most favourably in 
relation to educational effort in China was the character 
of the education bestowed. The schools, even in Hong 
Kong, are conducted on native models, with only those 
books and subjects required by Chinese opinion. Western 
knowledge has scarcely found any entrance to them. In 
fact, the only thing which makes them differ from the 
ordinary native schools is that Christianity is a subject 
of instruction, side by side with the Chinese classics. It is 
alleged, as a reason for maintaining this kind of teaching, 
that success in life in China demands a thorough acquain- 
tance with the written literary language, and that this can 
be obtained only by careful study and mastery of the great 
books known as the Chinese classics ; and that consequently 


it is almost vain to hope that scholars will be induced 
to attend schools in which any other course of instruction 
than the traditional one is adopted. Possibly this may be 
the case. It seems to me, however, if correct, to be a very 
serious weakness in our Christian work in China. The 
overweening belief in the superiority of their own literature 
and teaching, which is so characteristic of the Chinese, and 
which is so serious a hindrance to the adoption of opinions 
and faiths other than those they have been trained in, can